Park suspends grant program
CALUMET TOWNSHIP – A popular program run by the Keweenaw National Historical Park has been suspended, and it’s uncertain when or if it will resume.
Tom Baker, KNHP management assistant, said the park’s Heritage Grant program, which began in 2008, won’t take place this year due to financial concerns, including but not limited to the sequestration of federal funds, which went into effect Monday.
“The National Park Service grant program is being suspended for this year due to cumulative effects of continually shrinking budgets over the past several years, in addition to the effects of sequestration,” Baker said. “Sequestration was the final element, but not the sole cause of the grant program being suspended.”
The grant program began for KNHP as a way to financially assist owners of buildings or managers of programs, which help tell the story of copper mining within the park boundaries around Calumet and the Quincy Mine Hoist north of Hancock. The projects didn’t have to be directly connected to copper mining, but could be for things related to it, such as social and community aspects. Projects could involve museum collections, interpretive exhibits, landscape preservation, building facade rehabilitation and planning and design.
Baker said this year the intent was to offer up to $50,000 for KNHP Heritage Grants, which would have required a one-to-one match.
The KNHP Advisory Commission began its own Heritage Grant program two years after the park started its program, and Baker said the Advisory Commission will still conduct its program this year with $100,000 available. A one-to-one match is also required for that grant, but the match can be partly or totally in kind.
Unlike the requirement for the park grants, applicants for the Advisory Commission grants don’t have to be in specific geographic locations.
Applications for the Advisory Commission grants must be received at the KNHP headquarters building at 25970 Red Jacket Rd. by 5 p.m. March 29.
Although KNHP isn’t offering the heritage grants this year, Baker said he will still be available to lend assistance to anyone wishing to apply for an Advisory Commission Heritage Grant.
Information about the Heritage Grant process can be found online at nps.gov/kewe/parkmgmt/grants.htm.
Baker said park staff are disappointed the KNHP Heritage Grant program had to be suspended.
“It’s really, really too bad,” he said. “It’s one of the most important programs we run in the park.”