All posts by Destination Southern Maryland

Seed Grants Available

August 15, 2018

Stakeholders and partners of the Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium (SMHAC),

The new and revised Seed Grant Application and Instructions for Calendar Year 2018 (FY 19) are now available for non-profit organizations and local jurisdictions within the Certified Southern Maryland Heritage Area.  These grants were formally known as “mini-grants” but as the funding level is now up to $5,000 the impact of these funds in our region has necessitated a name change to reflect the increased scope and importance of these projects.

Examples of non-capital programs and events that comprise eligible projects include heritage tours, public programs, signs and brochures, interpretive displays, speakers, reenactments, culinary or other types of cultural events, period music, crafts and other types of period demonstrations, and web enhancements.

It is preferred that grant applicants reach out to the SMHAC office before applying, so that we may verify eligibility and provide assistance with the grant application process.

Application deadline: September 14, 2018

Award notification: October 15, 2018

SMHAC FY 19 Seed Grant Instructions


Phone: 301-274-4083     Email:


Maryland Heritage Area Grant Awards to Southern Maryland Exceed $300,000!

Hughesville, MD – The Executive Director and the Board of Directors of the Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium are pleased to announce the Maryland Heritage Area Authority Grant Awards for the Southern Maryland Region.  These awards usher in a new level of granting to the region, with $329,157.00 awarded to significant heritage tourism projects within Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s County.  These grants constitute a project total of over $800,000 towards innovative tourism, excellence in cultural and natural resource conservation, and unique educational opportunities.

Grants were awarded to:

St. Mary’s College of Maryland – $30,000
“Commemorating Our Shared History: Slavery in Southern Maryland”

Annmarie Sculpture Gardens and Art Center – $72,577
“Tree-mendous Nature Trail & Pavilion”

Calvert Marine Museum – $50,000
“Solomons, A Water Community”

Smallwood State Park – $12,5000
“Condition Assessment of the John Grinder House”

Patuxent River Naval Air Museum – $48,080.00
“Exhibits Phase II”

Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum – $10,000
“Interactive and Educational Components for the Smithsonian’s H2O Today Exhibition”

Calvert Nature Society – $20,000
“Assessing a Cypress Barn”

Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium – $86,000
(Partnering with the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland and
Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties)
“Fiscal Year 2019 Management Grant for the Southern Maryland Heritage Area”

These grants represent a new level of funding for the region and reflect the doubling of funds available to the Maryland Heritage Area Authority this year. Organizations receiving grant awards throughout the State of Maryland include museums, parks, educational organizations and many other entities that protect and celebrate the unique qualities of each of the 13 Maryland Heritage Areas. These grant funds support projects and activities that attract visitors and increase product development in the region. The Southern Maryland Heritage Area shepherds the state level granting through their office before it is presented to the Maryland Heritage Area Authority Commission. These grants have the capacity for $50,000 for non-capital projects and $100,000 for capital projects. Additionally, the Southern Maryland Heritage Area supports a smaller grant program directly from their office with grants up to $5,000 for regional heritage tourism projects. The new round of these local grants will be made available August 14, 2018 and will be due into the Southern Maryland Heritage Area office by September 14, 2018.

An award ceremony for the Southern Maryland grant awardees will be held in early December.

2017 Mini Grants are Awarded in Southern Maryland


December 18, 2017

Hughesville, MD – The Executive Director and the Board of Directors of the Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium are pleased to announce the Mini Grant Awards for 2017!  In keeping with the mission of the Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium, this granting opportunity is focused on preserving the heritage of Southern Maryland through innovative tourism, excellence in cultural and natural resource conservation, and unique educational opportunities.

The Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium had its greatest response to the Mini Grant Program to date, with over $50,000 in grant requests.  This program has a current cap of $15,000 for Mini Grant awards.  Of the many excellent proposals received, the SMHAC Board of Directors selected the following organizations and programs to receive the 2017 Grant Awards:

Calvert County

The Arts Council of Calvert County

  • For the creation of the “Barn Quilt Trail” project with the goal of preserving and protecting the barns and craftsmanship of primitive arts in Southern Maryland.

Friends of Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum

  • In support of the “2018 Speaker Series” which serves as an avenue for topics and speakers not always included in the regional dialogue.

Chesapeake Beach and Railway Museum

  • For the critical need of a comprehensive “Museum Interpretive Plan” that will address how best to engage and attract visitors to this unique historical site.

Charles County

The Piscataway – Conoy Tribe of Maryland

  • For the implementation of a segment of the “Through Piscataway Eyes” Master Plan, with a focus on a “Traditional Native Arts Display” at the Charles County Visitor Center.

Friends of Chapman State Park

  • For the program “The Culinary Story of Mount Aventine and Southern Maryland Cuisine” including culinary demonstration events featuring original recipes, and interpretation of how the use of the kitchen has evolved over two centuries.

St. Mary’s County

The Unified Committee for Afro-American Contribution

  • For the project “United States Colored Troops Interpretive Center Display” which will include research and documentation of African American life, history and culture.

Historic Sotterley, Inc.

  • In support of the “Common Ground, Connected Heritage Program” which builds on the Descendants Project, a program initiated to document the shared history of all Americans.

Each of the programs selected for an award will enhance the Southern Maryland experience for our visitors, residents, educators and businesses. An Award Ceremony is planned for February 2018.

SMHAC Mini Grant Program for FY2018!

September 19, 2017

Mini Grants Available for FY2018

It is that time of year again!  The Southern Maryland Heritage Area is announcing the FY 2018 (calendar year 2017) Mini Grant Program!  You will notice a couple of changes, the primary change being that we can now offer a range of grant opportunities up to $5,000.  The larger grant amounts will be for significant projects that assist with your organization’s mission.

Please find attached the information for this year’s round of mini-grants.  Anyone interested in applying, please reply by email letting me know of your intention, and I will send out an application.  This process aids the office in establishing a list of potential applicants, but does not obligate you in any way.  Please note that all Intent to Apply notices will need to be received by this office end of business day on September 29, 2017, and the grant application will be due October 13, 2017.

I look forward to working with you!

Lucille W. Walker
Executive Director
Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium
PO Box 745, Hughesville, MD 20637
Phone: 301-274-4083, Fax: 301-274-1924

SMHAC FY 18 Mini Instructions

2015 Mini-Grants Funded

Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium
Roz Racanello, Executive Director
PO Box 745, Hughesville, MD 20637
Phone: 301-274-4083, Fax: 301-274-1924

October 21, 2015


Small Grants for Tourism Projects Funded.

The Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium (SMHAC) announced today that twelve projects submitting Mini-Grant applications will receive funding.

These funds are made available to non-profits and government organizations inside the Heritage Area that seek to promote heritage tourism and economic development.  Heritage tourism is defined as traveling to experience the places that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present – including historic, cultural and natural resources.

The projects receiving funding are:

Calvert County

Conservation of artifacts from the George Rice House at Biscoe Gray.   Working with the MAC Lab at Jefferson Patterson Park, the County will conserve objects found near this African American site on the Farm.  Once properly conserved, the artifacts, and any information they provide, can become part of an exhibit.

Arts Council of Calvert County – Barn Quilt Trail.  Calvert County will join a number of communities to use the sides of barns as canvases for quilt patterns.  They will begin by identifying one visible barn to paint and hold a ribbon cutting event in the Spring.

Calvert County Natural Resources – Natural Resources Brochure – printing.  A brochure was created and produced and now the Department wishes to use and promote the brochure more widely since it consolidates information about individual parks in a single source.

Bayside History Museum – Native American Day at the Beach exhibit. This will be part of an exhibit on the first floor of the museum, consisting of a canoe and artifacts from Colony Beach. A mural surrounding the dugout canoe (donated to the museum) will be created using the funds.

American Chestnut Land Trust – New Interpretive Signs on Turkey Trail. This Trail is the most popular hiking trail in the ACLT lands, and they will add to the hikers experience by interpreting the natural world around them. Highlighting conservation issues as well as flora and fauna the signs will include an introduction to the protection efforts of the ACLT.

Charles County

Historical Society of Charles County – Holiday Trail 2015.  This relatively new event will increase from 11 sites to 18 this year with the addition of a number of historic sites in the County.  The funds would help produce brochures, postcards and banners to promote the expanded Trail.

Maryland Veterans Memorial Museum – Exhibit for Washington/Rochambeau Trail.  The Museum is on this historically significant trail.  The trail route is a long series of roads used by the Continental Army under Gen. Washington’s command as well as Jean-Baptiste Rochambeau during the 1781 march from Rhode Island to Virginia.  The Museum will construct a series of exhibits relating to the route.

Friends of Chapman Forest – Historic Interpretive Posters – Preservation Study. The goal is to expand on the Preservation Study at Mt. Aventine completed in spring of 2015, and to duplicate key documented findings on large interpretive “posters” to display in the mansion. The posters would be on easels on both stories in the west wing.

Farm Heritage Conservancy – Serenity Farm Slave Grave Project. This new project will produce a short documentary titled: “Remembered by the Wind: The Slave Graves of Serenity Farm.” To be shot in HD video and provided to public television and other platforms, the film will tell the story of the uncovering of the burial ground.

St. Mary’s County

Unified Committee for Afro American Contributions (UCAC) – How Women Got the Right to Vote.   An exhibit detailing women’s suffrage in the US based on election day 1920, as millions of women exercised their right to vote for the first time after the passage of the 19th Amendment.  The exhibit will be displayed at the US Colored Troop Memorial Interpretive Center.

Point Lookout State Park – Photo Tour Book of the Park.  This book will be a walking tour guide with historical and educational significance.  There will be a trail of sequentially numbered stops, (17 have been identified,) and each will be depicted and described in the booklet.

Greenwell State Park – Explore Greenwell.  This project will create brochures that focus on the park’s history, environment, natural resources and tourism products, including information about Rosedale Manor.  The goal is to increase tours of all aspects of the park.

All those who wish to learn more about membership or future grant offerings should contact the Consortium by email, or by phone at 301-274-4083.
Additional information about the Southern Maryland Heritage Area is available on the web at:

The mission of the Southern Maryland Heritage Area Consortium (SMHAC) is to enhance the economic activity of Southern Maryland through combining quality heritage tourism and small business development with preservation, cultural and natural resource conservation and education. The SMHAC receives support from the three county Boards of Commissioners, the MHAA, the Tri-County Council for Southern MD and private contributions.


St. Mary’s Chapel

12960 Point Lookout Road, Ridge, MD 20680

In 1884, Trinity Church, located in St. Mary’s City, sold a portion of its land to the State and used some of the proceeds to establish a chapel of ease in Ridge for its members who had to travel long distances to services.  The stained glass windows installed in 2002 were designed in a “Victorian/Art Nouveau” style.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Trinity Episcopal Church

16855 Point Lookout Road, St. Mary’s City, MD 20686
Phone: 301-862-4597  •

Originally established in 1638, the first Trinity Church was a wooden structure located on Smith Creek.  In 1642, it was moved to St. Mary’s City and in 1694, when the state capital was moved from St. Mary’s City to Annapolis, the local State House served as the church for 134 years.  The present-day church was constructed in 1829 using brick salvaged from the original 1676 State House.   Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.