Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area - Heritage Development Grants

New York State Hudson River Valley Greenway

Suggest an update

Grant amount: US $1,000 - US $5,000

Anticipated deadline: May 10, 2020 2:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit Indigenous Group

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in New York: Albany County, Columbia County, Rensselaer County, Rockland County, Saratoga County Expand all

Location of residency: Counties in New York: Albany County, Columbia County, Rensselaer County, Rockland County, Saratoga County Expand all

View website    Save Need help writing this grant?



The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area (HRVNHA) was established by Congress in 1996 and is funded, in part, through the National Park Service -Department of the Interior. The mission of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area program is to recognize, preserve, protect and interpret the nationally significant cultural and natural resources of the Hudson River Valley for the benefit of the Nation.

The HRVNHA established this grant program to provide seed money to organizations for the purposes of programming, interpretation and marketing that support the mutual goals of the HRVNHA and applicants. A total of $55,000 is available through this grant program. Projects should resonate with the following interpretive themes outlined in the HRVNHA Management Plan:

  • Freedom and Dignity (Revolutionary War, Underground Railroad and abolitionists, Roosevelt Legacy, Native American Heritage);
  • Nature and Culture (Hudson River Painters, Landscapes of Extraordinary Scenic Character, Exceptional Landscape Design and Architectural Distinction, Environmental Legacy); and
  • Corridor of Commerce (Community, Agriculture, and Settled Landscapes; Labor Movements; Technical and Industrial Innovations).

The National Park Service (NPS) has established goals to expand its reach and engage new audiences. The HRVNHA is a partner in helping the NPS achieve its goals to increase the visibility of its programs to new audiences, connect with the next generation of visitors and stewards, and to increase visitation to parks and sites of all sizes to young people, urban dwellers, and disadvantaged populations. To help achieve these goals in the Hudson Valley, the Heritage Development Grant Program will give priority to projects that embrace diversity, reach out to underserved populations, and those projects that connect their audiences to recreational resources.

Grant Program Goals

  • Fund projects and programs that serve to advance the mission of the HRVNHA and fulfill the objectives of its Management Plan;
  • Fund projects that encourage diversity and target new audiences including youth and minority populations;
  • Encourage collaboration and partnerships among heritage sites, governmental and non-governmental organizations and the business community;
  • Engage partners that can leverage additional resources to complement the efforts of heritage sites and of the HRVNHA;
  • Fill a gap in funding for interpretation, tourism marketing, and community development projects and programs in the HRVNHA region;
  • Connect more people to the natural, cultural, historic and recreational resources of the Hudson River Valley;
  • Promote the Hudson Valley as a single tourism destination;
  • Increase visitation to heritage sites;
  • Complement projects related to Path Through History and/or the Regional Economic Development Council Plans.

General Guidelines

  • Awards generally range from $1,000 to $5,000 dollars for individual organizations. Projects that include multiple partners will be eligible to receive more than $5,000;
  • This is a matching grant program requiring “dollar for dollar” match of funds awarded;
    • HRVNHA grant assistance toward the cost of the projects shall not exceed 50% of the approved project's cost. After the grant award is made, the HRVNHA shall not be responsible for cost-sharing any increases in the total cost of the project;
    • Local match may be provided as in-kind services or other monetary contribution;
    • Volunteer time must be counted at the standardized rate for New York State (, unless a professional rate applies and is justified in writing. This rate is adjusted on an annual basis and is subject to change without advance notice;
    • Federal funds cannot be used as a match for this grant;
  • Applicants must complete projects previously funded through the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Heritage Development Grant Program or release previously awarded funds before being eligible to receive funding in this round; 
  • The applicant must provide a work program for each phase of funding, with projected costs and an estimated timeline for completion in the grant application;
  • If a project involves the development of a plan or similar product, final disbursement of funding will not be made until the plan is completed in final form;
  • Projects must involve places or buildings that are publicly-accessible;
  • Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis;
  • Projects must provide appropriate acknowledgement of grant funding on signs, printed and electronic material, including the appearance of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area logo and a brief statement noting the grant funding (logo to be provided by the HRVNHA);
  • Fund distribution will be made on a reimbursement basis. Only fully documented and approved expenses will be reimbursed. At the project’s conclusion, final payment will be made upon receipt of a final report;
  • The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area and its management entities will retain the right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use any materials developed in the course of a project funded through this grant program, unless otherwise noted in the grant agreement.

Specific Guidelines for each Category

Choose the one category that best aligns with your project in Part A of the application

Category 1: Marketing and Promotion

  • Initiatives that promote heritage sites as tourism destinations;
  • Projects or strategies that will increase visitation to sites;
  • Projects or strategies that include multiple heritage sites or partners.

Category 2: Programming and Interpretation

  • Programs that create or further develop opportunities for public education about our history;
  • Experiential programming or interpretation;
  • Projects that use technology to engage new audiences and visitors;
  • Living history programs and reenactments.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Who May Apply
    • Municipalities and not-for-profit corporations located within the geographic area of the HRVNHA, as defined by Public Law 104-333 may apply.
      • “Friends groups” of federal and state sites are encouraged to apply.
    • Geographic Area of the HRVNHA:
      • Includes the counties of Albany, Rensselaer, Columbia, Greene, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Westchester, Rockland, and the Village of Waterford in Saratoga County.
    • Municipality:
      • A local public authority or public benefit corporation, a county, city, town, village, school district, supervisory district, district corporation, improvement district within a county, city, town or village, or American Indian nation or tribe recognized by the state or the United States with a reservation wholly or partly within the boundaries of New York State, or any combination thereof.
    • Not-for-profit Corporation:
      • A corporation formed pursuant to the not-for-profit corporation law and qualified for tax-exempt status under the federal internal revenue code.


  • Priority will be given to projects that exhibit one or more of the following qualities:
    • Highest priority will be given to projects or programs that feature a designated Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Heritage Site 
    • Projects that connect multiple heritage sites thematically or geographically;
    • Projects that support diversity or target new audiences, including urban or rural populations, youth, and minority populations;
    • Projects that promote recreational activities and connections to local and regional recreational assets like the Hudson River Greenway Trail System and the Empire State Trail;
    • Projects that are part of a larger local/regional/statewide heritage initiative like Path Through History or the Hudson River Valley Ramble;
    • Projects that involve partnerships with other heritage sites, municipalities, and for profit or not- for-profit organizations.
    • Projects that incorporate mechanisms for sustainability beyond the period of the grant;
    • Projects and programs that serve to advance the mission of the HRVNHA and fulfill the objectives of its Management Plan;


  • Ineligible Projects and Expenditures
    • Transportation and admission expenses related to school field trips (see Teaching the Hudson Valley’s Explore Awards);
    • Acquisition of property or facilities including buildings and sites;
    • Payment for previous activities;
    • Reduction of existing debt;
    • Political or religious activities;
    • Support for existing staff unrelated to the proposed project;
    • Additions to reserve funds or endowments of an organization;
    • Projects or programs that will re-grant the funds received;
    • Marketing specifically related to advertising “for profit” businesses.