For this month’s Partner Spotlight we’re focusing on a unique organization that brings together and lifts up heritage sites in our region. Four Rivers Heritage Area is one of Maryland’s state heritage areas encompassing the area of Annapolis, London Town and South Anne Arundel County. What is a heritage area? It is a place where a combination of natural, cultural, historic and recreational resources have shaped a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape.
Four Rivers is an established heritage tourism destination along the Chesapeake Bay in a region that reflects Maryland’s rich historic, cultural, and natural legacy. The nonprofit organization holds a partnership among the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Anne Arundel County, the City of Annapolis, the Town of Highland Beach and heritage-related organizations and businesses (like us at Watermark!). Their mission is to protect and strengthen the natural, historic, and cultural resources of the heritage area, to nurture their discovery through educational and recreational experiences for visitors and residents and to promote the region’s rich legacy.
Four Rivers develops and supports activities and projects that enhance heritage tourism through educational programs and family friendly activities. Through our partnership with Four Rivers, we participate in planning and brainstorming for their special events, education workshops and other activities. One of their biggest events is Maryland Day Weekend, a celebration of Maryland’s founding including three days of free or almost free activities for families across the Heritage Area. For Maryland Day each year, we host a free walking tour to the public. This past Maryland Day we debuted ArchiTrex, our new architecture walking tour in Annapolis. After having a great launch on Maryland Day, we added ArchiTrex to our public schedule!
Through their Annual Heritage Awards, Four Rivers recognizes individuals, organizations, partnerships, programs and products that contribute significantly to the community. Watermark has been honored to receive several awards over the years including Heritage Person of the Year, Interpreter of the Year, Private/Public Partnership Award and more.
In addition to hosting, planning and promoting events and workshops for the public and their members, Four Rivers is a wonderful resource for things to do in Anne Arundel County. Their e-newsletter (which we recommend signing up for!) is a great overview of heritage related news and upcoming activities. The recent addition of “Themed Trails” to their website features curated lists of niche things to do and explore like an African American Heritage Trail (recommended stops include sites, museums and attractions that relate to African Americans and their heritage), an Annapolis Art Trail (public art and architectural gems), Waterways and others. Teachers will find a wealth of information in their Field Trip/Education Resources.
Last but not least, Four Rivers Heritage area has a keen eye on the heritage area and shares an engaging mix of photos and content on their Instagram account and facebook page. We follow them, do you?!
Learn More about Four Rivers: The Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County on their website.