July/August 2011
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Member Highlight: Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor

Members of the Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor are interested in how the history of this region has contributed to the development of our current life and culture. They work to bring attention to the history of the area and our remarkable natural, cultural, and recreational resources. The group is non-profit and all-volunteer. On the heritage corridor website, members publish calendars listing heritage and cultural events, including lots of summer recreational and educational events.

War is one element that has shaped our region. The Maumee Valley has been the scene of battles that were turning points in nationally significant conflicts, including those that forced Native Americans out of the region and the sieges during the War of 1812 that led the British to abandon efforts to control trade in the area. At the Battle of Fallen Timbers, General Mad Anthony Wayne defeated a confederation of Native American tribes including the Miami and Chief Little Turtle. Their defeat opened the Northwest Territory for settlement, later leading to Ohio’s statehood in 1803. A group from the heritage corridor initiated a study that led Congress to declare the Fallen Timbers Battlefield a National Park Service affiliated unit.

Dick Kudner, president, Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor, Inc. says, “Our membership in TMACOG has been a real value in networking with local government entities and non-profits whose mission is similar to ours. Specifically, we have partnered on water quality and quantity issues and on bike/pedestrian trail issues.”

Natural features of our region also have influenced our culture. The Maumee River watershed is the largest U.S. watershed that drains to the Great Lakes, and the Great Black Swamp at its mouth has created a unique ecological environment. To increase public awareness of our region’s natural features, the heritage group championed designation of 60 miles of roads along the Maumee River as State Scenic Byways.

Current projects by the members of the heritage corridor could increase tourism. Efforts are aimed at increasing public knowledge of the North Country National Scenic Trail that comes through the valley, and telling the story of how events in this area during the War of 1812 influenced the formation of the United States and Canada. Canadian economic experts forecast 10.8 million visitors to War of 1812 sites in the U.S. and Canada. And tens of thousands more will come to hike the scenic trail on the old canal towpath along the Maumee River.

The Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor area and associated waterways.

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