Attend our events to learn about or help us plan the Florida Panhandle National Heritage area.
Jan. 23, 2019
Florida Panhandle National Heritage Area - Seventh Planning Meeting and Feasibility Study
Join the Askew Institute for Multidisciplinary Studies (AIMS) and the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) for the seventh meeting of the series of meetings regarding the possibility of designating the Florida Panhandle as a Maritime National Heritage Area and conducting a feasibility study. The meeting aims to engage everyone to discuss the area boundaries, significant cultural-natural resources and the area's theme.
The meeting will be held on Jan. 23, 2019, at 2:15 p.m., at the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement, 17869 NW Pioneer Settlement Rd. Blountstown, FL 32424.
Dec. 10, 2018
The sixth Planning Meeting and Feasibility Study, the last meeting of the year 2018, was held at Walton County Heritage Museum in DeFuniak Springs, on Dec. 10, 1018. Participants from Florida Panhandle historical societies, Florida State Parks, WUF and interested citizens from around the Florida Panhandle area attended this meeting. Dr. Sorna Khakzad and Michael Thomin presented about the project progress, and Jeffrey Shanks (National Park Service) gave a presentation on National Heritage Areas in the US and the designating process.
In this meeting, participants introduced themselves and talked about what they think about the project. Some attendees, who have been participating in the series of meetings, talked about their activities within their communities and cities regarding promoting this project and securing letters of support from different organizations. However, everyone agreed that we need more effort to get more support from different entities.
As a result of these meetings and other academic panel discussions, the project themes are becoming more meaningful and cohesive, and the Area boundary is getting closer to being finalized.
Nov. 15, 2018
A panel was organized at the annual Southeastern Archaeological Conference (SEAC) on Nov. 15, 2018 to discuss the potential of designating the Florida Panhandle National Heritage Area. The panel organizers Sorna Khakzad (UWF), Mike Thomin (UWF), and Jeffrey Shanks (NPS) presented about the project and its goals. Archaeologists, university professors and experts, including Julie Duggins, Joshua Goodwin, Jessi Halligan, Tristan Harrenstein, Richard Kanaski, William Lees, Rochelle Marrinan, and Nancy White were among the panelists. The main topic that was discussed was the themes and story that this potential National Heritage Area can reflect. Some of the major themes and concepts that were highlighted and encouraged to be expanded on are economy, military, industry and human resilience.
A video record of the panel will be uploaded on our website soon.
Nov. 13, 2018
The fifth Planning Meeting and Feasibility Study was held at Imogene Theater in Milton, on Nov. 13, with attendees from different sectors, such as academia, the tourism industry, local authorities, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, museums and historical societies. The presentations given by Dr. Sorna Khakzad, Michael Thomin and Barbara Albrecht provided the audience with an introduction and updates regarding Florida Panhandle National Heritage Area Feasibility Study. In addition, the implications of preservation and restoration of some sites affected by Hurricane Michael were discussed. Mr. Willard Smith, the Director of Panhandle Pioneer Settlement, gave an update about the state of their site. We created a list of volunteers and technical supports that can be provided to the hurricane affected sites. For more information and to connect with these volunteers, please get in touch with Sorna Khakzad, email@example.com.
Oct. 22, 2018
The fourth Planning Meeting and Feasibility Study was held at Florida Public Archaeology Network in Pensacola, on Oct 22, with attendees from different sectors, such as academia, tourism industry, local authorities, chamber of commerce, Gulf Island National Seashore, and historical societies. The meeting started by a welcoming note from Dr. William Lees, FPAN Director, and an introduction to AIMS, by Dr. Wade Jeffrey. Speakers including Dr. Sorna Khakzad, Michael Thomin and Barbara Albrecht presented about the progress of Florida Panhandle National Heritage Area Feasibility Study. In this meeting, our guest speaker, Jeffrey Shanks, from National Park Service, provided an insightful presentation about National Heritage Areas and the designation process.
We received some information about the natural-cultural resources and statements about the significant of the Area from some of the attendees in our previous meetings. In general, everyone showed a great amount of support for this project.
Considering the impact of hurricane Michael on our area, we believe that designating Florida panhandle as a National Heritage Area at this moment is more crucial than ever. The designation will provide opportunities for more collaborative effort to revive the area and for socioeconomic development.
Sept. 25, 2018
The third Planning Meeting and Feasibility Study brought different stakeholders in the area together, including guests from the chambers of commerce, tourism industry, land development, wild life and forestry, National Park Service, Tyndall, Gulf Coast State College, historical societies, interested citizens, and so on. The meeting was held on Sept. 25, 2018, hosted by the Panama City Publishing Museum. Following a brief introduction to FPAN and AIMS, Dr. Sorna Khakzad, Barbara Albrecht and Mike Thomin highlighted the values of cultural and natural resources in Florida Panhandle Area, and presented the concept of National Heritage Area and the progress in the Feasibility Study. The presence of National Park Service representative was a great opportunity to respond to some of the questions and concerns about the NHAs and designation process. We received constructive comments from the attendees that ‘alone, we cannot do much, but as a part of a National Heritage Area, we will be able to attract more attention to our area and perform better together.’ After the meeting, we organized a 30-minutes working group session, where attendees got together and responded to a few questions regarding the significance of different resources in the area. The collected information will be added to the Feasibility Study, which highlights stakeholders' viewpoints.
Sept. 5, 2018
The second meeting to bring different stakeholders from across the Panhandle Area and discuss the possibility of designating a Florida Panhandle National Heritage Area was held on Sept. 5, 2018, hosted by the Heritage Park and Cultural Center in Ft. Walton Beach. Following a brief introduction to FPAN and AIMS, Dr. Sorna Khakzad, Barbara Albrecht and Mike Thomin highlighted the values of cultural and natural resources in Florida Panhandle Area, and presented the concept of National Heritage Area and the progress in the Feasibility Study. Participants from tourism industry, Florida Forest Service, historical societies, Tyndall and Eglin Air Force Base, libraries, and many more got engaged in a lively discussion about the Panhandle significant places, area boundaries and theme. The meeting and discussion helped the project to get closer to defining the boundaries of Florida Panhandle National Heritage Area. The project is calling for input from different stakeholders.
July 23, 2018
The first meeting to bring different stakeholders from across the Panhandle Area and discuss the possibility of designating a Florida Panhandle National Heritage Area was held on July 23, 2018 at the Governor Martin House in Tallahassee. The meeting started with welcoming and presenting about the roles and missions of Florida Public Archaeology Network, by Barbara Clark, and Askew Institute for Multidisciplinary Studies by Dr. Wade Jeffrey.
Speakers, including Dr. Sorna Khakzad, Barbara Albrecht, and Mike Thomin presented about the significance of cultural, natural and historical resources in the Florida Panhandle Area, the concept of National Heritage Area, and the feasibility and benefits of having a Florida Panhandle National Heritage Area. Participants from federal and state government, chambers of commerce, economic development groups, natural resources and wildlife organizations, museums and tourism industries attended the meeting. We had a vibrant and fruitful discussion that helps us to move forward with the Feasibility Study.
July 2, 2018
An information meeting took place at the Pace Community Center on July 2, 2018. The proposal for designating a Panhandle National Heritage Area was presented to the Santa Rosa Creek Tribe community and their tribal grounds’ Board of Director. After the presentation, the tribe members asked many questions about the advantages and disadvantages of joining this initiative. As the result of the meeting we received a letter of support from this group.
April 27, 2018
The first initiative to inform the public and stakeholders about this project was conducting a panel entitled “Profiting from Preserving the Past” that was organized in April 2018. This was the result of a two-year study of cultural and national resources in the Panhandle Area. The proposal for designation as a National Heritage Area was presented. Panelists discussed the benefits and obstacles of cultural resources preservation and the role of heritage preservation in sustainable development.