Heritage tourism

Bush honors two North Carolinians for preserving Blue Ridge Trails.

RALEIGH, N.C. [05.10.04] — Mary B. Regan, executive director of the N.C. Arts Council, and H. Wayne Martin, its folklife director, received the first Preserve America Presidential award for heritage tourism.

At a White House ceremony, President Bush presented the award, which recognizes commitment to the protection and interpretation of cultural or natural heritage assets in the U.S.

Regan and Martin won the award for their work with the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative, which includes the Blue Ridge Music Trail, Cherokee Heritage Trail, Craft Heritage Trails of Western North Carolina and the Farms, Gardens and Countryside Trails of Western North Carolina.

“We hope that through the Initiative, the Southern Appalachians will be home to traditional music, handmade crafts, Cherokee cultural traditions and rich agricultural ways for generations to come,” Martin says.

Other Preserve America Presidential awards went to the Lackawanna Heritage Valley in northeastern Pennsylvania; Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo.; and the Raven Natural Resources Learning Center in the Kootenai National Forest in Libby, Mont.

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