Cultural heritage programs provide a lens on inclusion and diversity in the Basin.
The Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP) marks its 15th anniversary in 2021. Established in 2006, CVNHP has awarded 195 grants totaling $1.3 million. These grants, ranging from $1,000 to $40,000, have made significant impacts on communities and institutions, big and small. Funding has supported projects as varied as local heritage education programs in schools to new HVAC systems in museums. The grants have generated not just improvements and new opportunities to cultural institutions, recreation programs, and municipalities in New York, Vermont, and Québec, but they have also generated more than $2.4 million in matching funds.
The CVNHP gained momentum during the Lake Champlain Quadricentennial—the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s 1609 exploration of the lake he named after himself. The Quadricentennial also served as a platform to highlight the rich cultural heritage of the Champlain Valley’s Indigenous peoples. The LCBP has long acknowledged the history and culture of these nations and recognizes that we are all stewards of our natural and cultural resources. Since 2008, the CVNHP has provided $194,262 in grants for 21 projects that researched, interpreted, and showcased Native American history and culture.
Each year, the CVNHP focuses on one of its interpretive themes: Making of Nations, Corridor of Commerce, or Conservation & Community. In 2019, the CVNHP and LCBP collaborated with partners by focusing on the Conservation & Community interpretive theme, which highlighted the 2019 International Year of the Salmon (IYS). The theme was supported through several partnership-based programs, including the tour of the replica canal schooner, Lois McClure; three interpretive theme grants; traveling displays; and a signature-event Salmon Festival in October 2021. The IYS observance strengthened partnerships with many natural heritage organizations, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Vermont and New York departments of fish and wildlife, Trout Unlimited, individual fishery biologists, and the angling community.
The COVID-19 pandemic stifled plans to mark the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote. While some groups persevered with their plans and hosted special “socially distanced” events, most postponed their celebration until 2021, when the CVNHP will support both the Making of Nations theme through the 101st anniversary of women’s suffrage and the Corridor of Commerce theme with a focus on temperance, prohibition, and smuggling. In 2022, the CVNHP will return to the Conservation and Community theme by celebrating the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Clean Water Act.
What You Can Do
Visit natural and cultural heritage areas. The many stories of our heritage are told in museums, historic sites, and natural areas throughout the Lake Champlain region.
Get out and explore. Enjoy recreational opportunities and cultural events in the region. Explore a new hiking trail, shoreline, bike path, beach, or campground.
Support museums and conservation groups. Get involved: become a member, attend events, or volunteer.
Leave no trace. Protect natural areas by learning and sharing low-impact techniques. Plan your trip to make recreation safe and minimize damage to natural and cultural resources. For more information, visit www.lnt.org.
Find wayside exhibits. Seek out interpretive signage and historic markers in your community and beyond.
Discover Basin communities. Reach beyond your neighborhood to explore other cultures, old and new.