The Calumet Heritage Partnership has published a feasibility study making its case for designation of the Calumet region as a National Heritage Area.
A public comment period on the 128-page study will continue through Feb. 3. The study is available on the partnership's website at calumetheritage.org. A feasibility study page includes a link to a form asking several questions, and offers the opportunity for general comments.
A Calumet Heritage Area would stretch from the south side of Chicago through LaPorte County, and would be based on the natural, industrial and cultural environments and traditions that unify it.
According to the study, "The Calumet Region contains globally rare natural areas, the nation’s premier steelmaking district, and distinctive communities that continue to shape the natural and built landscape. Its two urban National Parks — the Pullman National Monument and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore — bookend and highlight these features."
National Heritage Areas are designated by Congress. They are not units of the National Park Service, though that agency participates in their formation and administration.
A bi-state organization called the Calumet Collaborative will provide administrative support for the heritage area, if one is created, while the Calumet Heritage Partnership will be its public face.