The Southern Maryland Heritage Area — also known as Destination Southern Maryland — recently announced its Maryland Heritage Area Authority Grant Awards for Southern Maryland.

“These grants represent an appreciation of the importance of Southern Maryland to the vitality and history of the state,” executive director Lucille Walker said in a news release. “During these challenging times, this program brings economic growth when it is most needed.”

The awards represent the highest level of funding for the region from this program, with $431,000 awarded to heritage tourism projects for Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties. An additional $133,000 was awarded to multi heritage area projects that include Southern Maryland. Together, the funds constitute a funding level of $564,000 with a project total of over $1,500,000 towards innovative tourism, excellence in cultural and natural resource conservation and unique educational opportunities.

The Maryland Heritage Area grant awards within the Southern Maryland Heritage Area have been climbing steadily in the past four years with $79,543 awarded in 2017, $330,00 awarded in 2018, $331,000 awarded in 2019, and now $564,000 to the region in 2020.

The following Southern Maryland Heritage Area grants were awarded:

• Town of Leonardtown ($100,000) and Leonardtown Wharf Paddle Boat ($10,000), in partnership with the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, for “Fiscal Year 2021 Management Grant for the Southern Maryland Heritage Area.”

• Historic St Mary's City Foundation, Inc. ($50,000) for “Historic St. Mary's City Master Plan.”

• La Plata ($50,000) for “Attracting Tourists to the First Bird City in Maryland.”

• Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association Inc. ($47,772) for “Historic Mural Restoration: Naval Aviation in Space.”

• Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Art Center ($40,000) for “Treemendous Trail Phase-2: Historic Research/Interpretation and Creative/Natural Playspace Enhancement.”

• St. Clement’s Island Museum ($19,000) for “Piscataway Exhibit.”

• Historic Sotterley Inc. ($17,500) for “Common Ground Initiative.”

• Launching Educational Assistance Programs Forward Inc. ($7,500) for “Inclusive History: Honoring the Contributions of African Americans.”

Multi Heritage Area Grants were awarded to:

• Pride of Baltimore, Inc. ($50,000) in Calvert and St. Mary’s counties, for “Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Ambassador.”

• Chesapeake Conservancy, Inc. ($50,000) in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties, for “Enhancing the park experience through Bilingual Interpreters.”

• National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States ($33,000) in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties, for “Documenting Chesapeake Watershed Sites and Landscapes Important to African Americans.”

To read Governor Hogan’s announcement of the $5.1 million in grants awarded by the Maryland Heritage Area Program this year, go to

Southern Maryland Heritage Area, go to www.destinationsouthernmaryland.com or for more information about the Maryland Heritage Area Program, go to mht.maryland.gov/heritageareas.shtml.