Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area accepting grant proposals

Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area accepting grant proposals
The Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area is based out of Elkins, West Virginia. (Photo courtesy Randolph County CVB)

ELKINS, W.Va. — The Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area is accepting proposals for funding for programs that support tourism development, community partnerships, and the preservation and interpretation of cultural and natural resources in its 18-county territory.


Grant requests can be from $1,000 up to $20,000, and applications are due July 31, 2023. The expected project performance period will be from October 1, 2023, through June 30, 2025. Recipients must provide a non-federal match at least equal to the amount received.

The Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area includes 18 counties in eastern West Virginia and western Maryland.

The heritage area covers the central Appalachian highlands of West Virginia and western Maryland, including Garrett and Allegany counties in Maryland and Grant, Hardy, Tucker, Upshur, Morgan, Preston, Barbour, Braxton, Webster, Hampshire, Randolph, Nicholas, Mineral, Greenbrier, Pendleton, and Pocahontas counties in West Virginia.


Eligible projects should identify, preserve, conserve, and enhance the assets that reflect forest heritage, including natural, recreational, historical, or cultural resources, and encourage the stewardship of such assets.



Eligible projects should share the stories of forest heritage through education, interpretation, and experience. Projects should relate to the program, telling diverse stories of America and the development of democracy, or should relate to one of the heritage area themes of "Forest Abundance," "Crucible of Isolation," "The Resilient Forest," or "The Logging Boom Builds the Nation."

Tourism Development

Eligible projects should support sustainable tourism and community development. Projects should relate to heritage area assets and themes. Tourism projects should improve attractions or enhance the experience of visitor audiences. Community development projects should show the clear benefits of community improvement and engagement.


Eligible projects should connect and support partners. Projects should primarily focus on building networks and collaboration or providing support and training to be available to partner groups.


Non-profit or governmental organizations may apply, while for-profit businesses are not eligible. Eligible projects should accomplish or provide new or enhanced activities beyond what the applicant organization already accomplishes. The grant project should add something new or improve the experience rather than extend operating funds.


The project may include some related promotion but is not generally for marketing and advertising. For projects involving physical improvements to land or buildings, the grantee is responsible for ensuring all permissions are approved and regulations followed. For projects involving youth, the grantee is responsible for coordination with schools or youth groups involved, including following all of that agency’s requirements for supervision, background checks, etc.

Advocacy, legislative agenda, or any presentation or interpretation not in accord with the heritage area's mission, values, and interpretive standards are not eligible. Some projects will be expected to submit products for heritage area review before implementation with grant funds.

Grant projects and products must also include acknowledgment of funding by the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area.

Budget and Reporting

Grantees will be responsible for financial reporting, including documentation of expenditures and non-federal matches. Grant reporting will include an interim and final narrative of progress, visitation data, outcomes, and financial report. Reporting requirements will be detailed in the Notice of Award.


Awards under this NOFO are subject to funds available to the heritage area as authorized by Sept. 30, 2023. Area representatives will be available to help organizations with applications when unfamiliar with the grant process. For questions or review of proposal drafts, email

Applicants should review the heritage area's for more information on goals and themes. Visit the website for more information on the program and heritage area.

Sign up to receive a FREE copy of West Virginia Explorer Magazine in your email weekly. 

Facebook Comments