A group formed in the 1990s to raise awareness of an area stretching from the south shore of Lake Michigan to Michigan City is now working to have the Calumet Region designated a National Heritage Area. The Calumet Heritage Partnership, made up of residents from Illinois and Indiana, is seeking federal funding for historic preservation and conservation.

NHA's are geographic areas designated to recognize significant features and would bring federal funding to local organizations restoring wildlife habitats or rehabilitating buildings. Recent studies show NHA's contribute nearly $13 billion in economic activity, 148,000 jobs and over $1 billion in annual tax revenue. Other areas of concern in the region include, Marktown, an urban planned community in East Chicago, along with Roosevelt High School, which was the first and only school built for African Americans in Gary.

“Heritage and nature transcend borders and so should our efforts to preserve and interpret them,” says Brad Miller, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Northwest Field Office. “National Heritage Areas pair well with Indiana Landmarks’ efforts because they strive to identify and uplift meaningful places to emphasize their importance to communities, enhance quality of life, and boost economic development.”

The Calumet Heritage Partnership is hosting its 19th annual Calumet Heritage Conference on Saturday, October 20 at the Lost Marsh Golf Course in Hammond. More information about the group's plan or conference, visit here