Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

November 09, 2007

Eileen Larrabee
Cathy Jimenez

New York Heritage Area Program to Host Development Forum

Forum will Honor New York Congressman Maurice Hinchey

Commissioner Carol Ash of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced today that the Heritage Area Program, in cooperation with the New York Heritage Area Association, the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, will host a Heritage Forum on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 on the campus the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

The purpose of the interactive forum, which commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the Heritage Area program, is to advance understanding of the heritage development concept by highlighting best practices, strengthening connections and planning for the future.

Originally named the Urban Cultural Park System, the Heritage Area Program was created by state legislation in 1982 with a goal toward preservation, recreation, interpretation and economic development. In 1994, the Legislature recognized the merit of the program by amending legislation to add regional heritage areas and renaming it the New York State Heritage Areas System. The system now includes 20 heritage areas and corridors encompassing more than 400 communities in 27 counties.

Ash noted that the forum will bring together individuals and organizations from across the state to discuss the future of heritage development, historic preservation and economic revitalization in New York. She noted that "the forum also provides us the opportunity to honor and recognize the achievements of our heritage foundation and New Yorkers who have made particularly notable contributions to our heritage."

On Tuesday morning, the New York Heritage Development Forum will honor Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey for his work as a sponsor of the original enabling legislation for the New York State Heritage Area Program, and for his many years of leadership and dedication to the heritage concept at the state and national level.

"Congressman Hinchey's long-standing commitment to heritage and historic preservation laid the groundwork for this important effort in New York State. Today, he continues to be an important part of our efforts to strengthen the program and we thank him for all he has done for our state's heritage and cultural development" Ash said.

For more information about the Development Forum, visit or call 518-237-8643.