On April 21st 2023, Senator Michael Bennet visited the Fairplay Courthouse in Fairplay, Colorado, to congratulate board members on the passage of landmark legislation that will ensure long-term stability for National Heritage Areas. Bennet, who is a longtime advocate for National Heritage Areas, spoke to a group of board members and local officials about the importance of preserving the cultural and historical significance of these areas for future generations.
National Heritage Areas are designated by Congress as places where natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape. These areas are managed through public-private partnerships and receive federal funding to support conservation and education efforts. The newly passed bi-partisan legislation will provide long-term funding for National Heritage Areas and strengthen their ability to promote economic development, tourism, and community revitalization.
During his visit, Senator Bennet praised the board members for their hard work and dedication in promoting the South Park National Heritage Area, which includes the historic town of Fairplay and surrounding areas in Park County, Colorado. Bennet highlighted the important role that SPNHA plays in preserving the county’s cultural and natural heritage, as well as the economic benefit for the local community.
In his remarks, Bennet said, “National Heritage Areas like the South Park National Heritage Area help to tell the story of our nation’s rich history and cultural heritage. These areas not only provide important educational opportunities for visitors, but they also promote economic development and support local businesses. The legislation we passed will ensure that National Heritage Areas have the long-term stability and support they need to continue their important work.”
Senator Michael Bennet also had the chance to visit Paris Mill in Alma, Colorado, to see the progress that has been made inside the historic building. Paris Mill, which was built in 1895, is an important part of the South Park National Heritage Area and is being restored to preserve its historical significance. Bennet praised the efforts of the South Park National Heritage Area and local partners in restoring Paris Mill and emphasized the importance of preserving the county’s cultural heritage.
Bennet’s visit to the Fairplay Courthouse and Paris Mill, and his support for National Heritage Areas demonstrate his commitment to preserving the county’s cultural and natural heritage and promoting economic development in local communities. The newly passed legislation will provide much-needed support for National Heritage Areas across the country, ensuring that these important sites are preserved for generations to come.