The Washington Township NJ Historic Preservation Commission has been fortunate to work with Donna Ann Harris this past year (2019) to develop a plan to improve heritage tourism at our site, The Olde Stone House Historic Village. Ms. Harris provided a thorough and insightful product that provides us with just what we needed. She consulted with us at every turn and made adjustments and suggestions until we had a plan we felt we could use, and that the New Jersey Historic Trust felt would be "highly useful" in helping us interpret our site to the public. Enjoyed working with you, Donna!
Donna Ann Harris of Heritage Consulting Inc. really helped take our Camden County History Alliance (CCHA), a 48 organization member initiative of the Camden County Historical Society, to the next level and literally put us on the map for Heritage Tourism in New Jersey. Donna wrote four successful grants totaling $48,750 over 18 months starting in 2017 to the New Jersey Historic Trust to support creation, implementation and evaluation of Camden County Heritage Tourism Plan and the main project was Camden County History Week held October 13-21, 2018. Our Alliance, thanks to Donna, is now seen as statewide model for Heritage Tourism and that's why Heritage Consulting Inc. and our historical society are being invited to speak about our success at state and national conferences as well as area universities. Donna is highly professional, easy to work with, and kept everyone on task towards making our plans a reality. I highly recommend Donna Ann Harris of Heritage Consulting Inc.
This project won the Grand Jury Award in 2018 from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadlephia.
The first of the three grants for this project was for $5000 and paid for initial research to identify visitor readiness, organizational capacity and seven thematic heritage tour routes to link sites of the then 41 but now 48 history organizations and historic sites in the county. We learned that more than 80% of the history organizations associated with Camden County History Alliance are volunteer run.
The second grant for $28,750 implemented a monthly e-newsletter with now 2000 email addresses, and peer to peer learning exchanges at bimonthly meetings. Donna wrote and oversaw development and printing of a beautiful 19" x 42" four color heritage tourism map/guide, 21 handsome four color rack cards for historic sites open to the public, and useful black and white Passport/visitor guide and hand stamps for History Week October 13 to 21, 2018.
Donna also wrote the $10,000 successful grant to the Rohrer Foundation that paid for design and printing of all the History Week materials.
The third grant of $5000 allowed us to evaluate History Week through a visitor survey that got 303 responses, a feedback meeting with the 32 history organizations that were open for the celebration and a findings report with recommendations for further development of History Week, Camden County History Alliance, and future heritage tourism activities of the CCHA.
The Overbrook Farms Club, the civic association for one of the nation's oldest planned communities in Philadelphia, was pleased to have Donna present at our annual meeting. She discussed the various approaches to developing main street districts, as our community is interested in revitalizing its commercial corridor. She did a fabulous job of providing a detailed but easy-to-comprehend overview, which helped our community understand both the challenges and opportunities we have ahead and what our next steps might be