Focus groups of regional experts gathered in the Fall of 2019 to develop and then prioritize a list of actionable projects where the Calumet National Heritage Area (CNHA) could best be leveraged to make a difference in the region. The starting point for this conversation was the set of regional goals articulated for each content area after the extensive community engagement process undertaken for the CNHA Feasibility Study. Focus Group members also had access to a systematic review of regional plans as well as case examples from other NHAs around the country. Thirteen focus group meetings, with approximately 85 participants in total, were held to address each of the identified regional goals.
Members from all the focus groups then met for a cumulative focus group in December, 2019. There, they reviewed the prioritized lists of projects in order to keep a special eye on synergies, overlaps, and opportunities for further discussion. The result was a compelling set of projects aimed at strengthening partnerships, forging new ways of working across the region, enriching capacity for community efforts, regional identity and connectivity, and shining a national spotlight on local stories. The resulting draft Management Plan chapters are set to be available for review in April 2020.