National Heritage Areas (NHA's) further the mission of the NPS through collaborative approaches. Distinctively different than national parks, NHA's typically do not own land, possess regulatory powers and are required to leverage Federal funds. Located in western Pennsylvania, the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Corridor partnership system lies in the breadth of the Corridor's mission—integrating conservation, preservation, interpretation, recreation, and economic revitalization, with a community-based focus that emphasizes the importance of the Corridor's heritage story. This broad mandate, established by Congress in the authorizing legislation, helps to ensure the relevancy of Corridor programs and provides a "big tent" for collaboration and building partnerships. The planning completed at the local level lead to support from state and federal agencies to support projects such as rail trails, the development of museums and visitor centers, river landings for community development and recreational boating, a branding and wayfinding system, historic restoration of mills and historic properties, oral history projects and more.
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