PRESS RELEASE: March 9, 2011
Contact: Seaway Trail, Inc. President and CEO Teresa Mitchell, 315-646-1000 x202
Great Lakes Seaway Trail Sets Full Slate of War of 1812 Bicentennial Plans
Sackets Harbor, NY – From Sackets Harbor, NY, site of two big War of 1812 battles that are cause still today for gatherings of troops – of living history reenactors for festivals and educational events in the Lake Ontario shoreline village, Seaway Trail, Inc. has announced a full complement of War of 1812 Bicentennial plans to promote travel along the 518-mile National Scenic Byway that runs alongside New York’s and Pennsylvania’s freshwater coast.
“This project has federal funding to accomplish many planned tasks, so we are seeking both financial and historical knowledge partners in U.S. and Canada. Based on our success with the French & Indian War Bicentennial commemoration, we expect the War of 1812 plans to result in immediate and long-term tourism and economic benefit,” said Seaway Trail, Inc. President and CEO Teresa Mitchell.
The Great Lakes Seaway Trail 2011-2014 War of 1812 Bicentennial Plan includes provisions for:
Seaway Trail, Inc.’s current War of 1812 projects funding partners include the New York State Department of Transportation, Empire State Development, the Erie County (PA) Department of Planning (Seaway Trail Pennsylvania), the Plattsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau, Key Bank, and the Federal Highway Administration National Scenic Byways Program.
Seaway Trail, Inc. plans to hold two spring 2011 meetings to provide 1812 Bicentennial promoters throughout the War’s northern theatre, including Canada, to share information and discuss opportunities for collaboration and the creation of War of 1812 “Signature Events” similar to those recognizing the 250th French and Indian War anniversary commemoration.
More information on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail — also a National Recreation Trail — is online at www.seawaytrail.com. #
SIDEBAR: NY Byways Have Successful Track Record in Promoting Heritage Travel —French & Indian War Theme Collaboration a National Model
Sackets Harbor, NY – In March 2010, the nation’s byway leaders participated in a webinar with Great Lakes Seaway Trail President & CEO Teresa Mitchell and Lakes to Locks Passage Executive Director Janet Kennedy showcasing the first-ever collaboration by four New York byways. The effort focused on multiple means of capitalizing on the tourism and economic value of heritage travel centered on the French & Indian War’s 250th Anniversary Commemoration.
Byways Specialist Curtis Pianalto of the America’s Byways Resource Center, Duluth, MN, moderated the discussion, and says, “Sharing this case study via the webinar was important for the greater byway community. This byway partnership created a shared platform for showcasing byways as the unique vehicle for discovering the story of the French and Indian War along the historic waterways of New York and Pennsylvania.”
The Great Lakes Seaway Trail, Lakes to Locks Passage, Revolutionary War Trail, and Mohawk Towpath collaborated in 2006-2009 in partnership with I Love NY and the New York State 250th French and Indian War Commemoration Commission to:
· publish a byway-based French and Indian War historic sites brochure
· publish a full-color guidebook: Waterways of War: The Struggle for Empire 1754-1763: A Traveler’s Guide to the French and Indian War Forts and Battlefields Along America’s Byways in New York and Pennsylvania
· develop and install a series of “outdoor storyteller” interpretive panels at destination points significant to the war
· promote living history demonstrations, including NY’s 2010 French and Indian War Commemorative Signature Events (The July 2009 event at Old Fort Niagara set a record attendance of 15,000 visitors there)
· develop a French and Indian War theme-based website to showcase 19 historic sites in New York (17) and Pennsylvania (2)
· jointly promote French and Indian War Commemorative Events to bus tour groups with the American Bus Association
· partner with Mountain Lakes PBS to present and uplink a “Forgotten War” documentary to the national PBS network with downloadable resources for grade 7-12 educators and a Google Map-based travel itinerary based on the Waterways of War guidebook.
At the time of the Waterways of War guidebook’s release, New York State Assembly Tourism Committee Chair Steven Englebright said, “Travel and history are great natural tourism partners. This new guidebook to the French & Indian War is a result of the first collaboration of New York’s designated byways and provides travelers with a wonderful vehicle for exploring our history and our waterfronts.
Mitchell says, “The New York-Pennsylvania French and Indian War project showcased byways as a unique way to discover the historic, cultural, natural, and recreational resources along America’s Byways. The heritage travel theme allowed us to emphasize the experience of traveling along the byways to historic sites and living history experiences.”
Kennedy says, “The outreach created by the synergy of the four byways attracted a diverse mix of audiences – from heritage tourists and traveling educators to the US Army Times and PBS. This type of collaboration is the future of the byway programs and sets a standard for creating public awareness of how byways offer an authentic American experience of the landscapes of history, well-kept military architecture, battlefields and waterfront staging areas.”
The American Bus Association named the four-byway tour to French and Indian War sites among its Top 100 Events in North America for tour packagers in 2007.
The NY-based partnership attracted an additional $15,000 in grant funds from Visit Erie, which manages the Seaway Trail Pennsylvania extension of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail.
Mitchell points out that the value of the project extends into 2012, saying, “This project created a base for developing, interpreting and promoting the 200th War of 1812 anniversary commemoration in New York and Pennsylvania.” #