The Calumet Heritage Area is a place of nationally significant natural, industrial, labor, and cultural heritage assets, that are preserved and interpreted to advance economic opportunity, and enrich the lives of its residents and visitors from across the nation.
Introducing the Calumet Heritage Area
From Chicago’s Southeast Side to the Indiana Dunes, the compelling landscape of the Calumet region mixes rare and extraordinary natural areas with scenes of technological wonder. Behind what the eye sees are equally compelling human stories of settlement, construction, inquiry, struggle and renewal.
Creating the Calumet Heritage Area
The Calumet is a region of diverse communities, innovative industries, and resilient ecosystems. To highlight the region’s significance, partners are working to create a Calumet Heritage Area (CHA). The CHA will bring people together across state lines to conserve natural and cultural heritage, improve recreational opportunities, promote regional arts, support sustainable economic development, and create heritage-oriented educational programing. The Calumet Heritage Partnership (CHP), a bi-state organization, began this effort and is working in partnership with the Calumet Collaborative, a bi-state organization focused on sustainable development, and the Field Museum, to create and manage the CHA. These partners have enlisted the help of numerous local historical societies, environmental organizations, arts organizations, planning agencies, companies, and citizens to make the heritage area a reality. In many ways we are already a heritage area!
What will the Calumet Heritage Area Look Like?
The CHA will connect the region’s two National Parks, local parks, trails, tourism gateways, and historical sites. The CHA will promote these places to locals and tourists with enhanced signage, maps, and educational materials. Most importantly it will bring people together to learn about the Calumet’s cultural and natural heritage guided by the following themes:
Photos: Header, right: view from Wolf Lake, David Klein. Header, middle: Indiana Department of Natural Resources/Barbara Labus; Industrial Heritage Archives_Calumet Heritage Partnership-ri 00198. Creating the Calumet Heritage Area: Coffman Collection Indiana University; By Nyttend - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39196147 Header, left: City of Gary Department of Redevelopment and Planning; The Field Museum/ ECCO6720; CIMBY students, The Field Museum/Hannah Anderson; Openlands. Nature Reworked: The Field Museum/ECCO14866_Hannah Anderson. Innovation and Change for Industries and Workers: Industrial Heritage Archives_Calumet Heritage Partnership_.11533. Crucible of Working Class and Ethnic Cultures: Industrial Heritage Archives_Southeast Chicago Historical Society_10460