Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area recently announce the 13 grant recipients from the fall 2020 ANHA Grant cycle.

The ANHA Grant Program, funded through the National Park Service, is distributing $122,515.44 in grant funds to promote environmental, recreational, and cultural heritage assets in the area, according to a news release. The grant provides matching funds assistance through reimbursement. The recipient, therefore, must provide proof of payment for 100% of eligible expenses when submitting a request for reimbursement.

“In Louisiana, we celebrate our culture like nowhere else in the country. And, you can get firsthand experience of some of that culture in the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area,” Nungesser said. “Through these grants, our basin communities will be able to better tell the stories of their culture, authentic and real stories that will Feed Your Soul. Through these stories we can learn of the evolution of this rich blend of cultures, traditions, and lifeways that have created this special place known as the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area.”

The goal of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area is to preserve and promote the cultural, natural and recreational resources of the 14 parishes that encompass the Atchafalaya Basin. Grant awardees must prove projects meet this vision through cultural event showcases, heritage interpretation efforts, and natural or recreational improvements. Criteria include project feasibility, sustainability and creativity.

Locally, River Road African American Museum Ascension will receive $12,500 for its Freedom Garden enhancement and Rosenwald Edible Landscape project to include 10, new, raised text panels telling the story of native plants and teaching about the history of Louisiana’s Underground Railroad

“The cultural story of south-central Louisiana comes from a diverse tapestry of people, places and traditions. ANHA is excited to provide funding this year for over a dozen projects that protect and enhance what makes our home so special,” said Justin Lemoine, Atchafalaya National Heritage Area executive director.

The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area will run its next grant cycle in the spring. To learn more about the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, visit the newly redesigned www.atchafalaya.org. For more information and updates, visit the ANHA Grant Program webpage.

The National Heritage Area program is part of the National Park Service. NHAs are designated by Congress as areas that tell nationally significant stories through natural, cultural and historic resources. Designated in 2006, the goal of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area is to preserve and promote the natural, recreational and cultural resources surrounding the Atchafalaya River and its basin.