Appalachian Heritage Area offers grants for preservation, interpretation and tourism projects

Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area seeks applications for its new Appalachian Forest Grants Program that will distribute $200,000 to area organizations.

Grant requests can be from $1,000 to $20,000 for projects that support preservation, interpretation, tourism development, and partnership development. Applications are due July 31, 2023.

Grant applicants must be public, governmental, or non-profit organizations within the 18 AFNHA counties: Preston, Mineral, Hampshire, Morgan, Barbour, Tucker, Hardy, Grant, Pendleton, Upshur, Randolph, Braxton, Webster, Pocahontas, Nicholas, and Greenbrier in West Virginia; Garrett and Allegany in Maryland.

The application portal and full guidelines can be found at

“Last year, we awarded $60,000 to 18 tourism development projects through our Highlands Creative Economy program thanks to support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. Now due to our expanded funding from the National Park Service as a National Heritage Area, we can increase not only the amount of funds that we can award but also the scope of projects that we can support,” said Deputy Director Logan Smith in a press release about the grants.

Projects funded by the previous grant program included a repurposed 3,200 sq. ft. outdoor event space at Arthurdale Heritage, a quilting symposium and bed-turning workshop at Adaland Mansion, an expanded Christmas light display at the Elkins Depot Welcome Center, and signage for self-guided tours at Evergreen Heritage Center.

A major emphasis of the new grant program is interpretive projects related to America250, the nationwide commemoration of our country’s 250th anniversary.

“Our America250 in the Appalachian Forest program will commemorate the founding of America by sharing the under-told and locally important stories of the people, communities, and places that have shaped our region over the past 250 years. We are encouraging people to participate by developing projects to tell their local stories,” said Executive Director Phyllis Baxter.

These projects may include a variety of formats, such as research, oral history, digital products, interpretive signage, exhibits, live programs, participation projects, or other storytelling. Organizations working on their own projects may apply for grant support.

For more information or questions, email or visit the group’s website.