An Executive Order issued on September 8, 2007 by Governor Martin O’Malley, created the Bicentennial Commission for Maryland’s part in the War of 1812. Multi-year cultural tourism and educational programs have been planned. In 2005, Congress amended the National Trails System Act to designate the Star-Spangles Banner Trail in Maryland,Virginia and the District of Columbia as a National Historic Trail. In Calvert County, the trail will consist of water routes on the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay, as well as overland routes on Maryland 2/4,Parran Road, Mackall Road, Broomes Island Road, Grays Road, Sixes Road and Maryland 231.
The partnership with the County Commissioners, the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and the Star-Spangled 200, Inc will provide many promotional and marketing opportunities for the tourism and heritage sites in Calvert County. This will include tours for travel writers and tour operators, and cooperative advertising.
The National Park Service operates a network of scenic, historic and recreation trails known as the National Trails System. The trails provide outdoor recreation and promote the enjoyment, appreciation and preservation of open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources. The value of having part of Calvert included in the Star-Spangled Banner Trail is three-fold. It provides educational and interpretive opportunities related to the War of 1812 and its relevance to modern society, protects the sites, routes and landscapes and promotes opportunities for land and water-based recreation and heritage tourism.
The Chesapeake Bay region was the center of the critical struggle between theUnited States and Great Britain during the War of 1812. The trail and byway cover over 560 miles of land and water routes in Maryland,Virginia and theDistrict of Columbia along which the British armies and American defenders traveled and fought. The trail complements the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network and shares many waterways with the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.
The War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail will give the tourism office many opportunities to advertise Calvert County to potential visitors as well as it citizens. As a partner, the county will be included in the marketing and promotion of the trail, media events, special public events and feature articles. The Calvert Board of County Commissioners signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Park Service, making them a partner.
Margit Miller/Staff Writer/Editor