By Kathy Knotts
Hoping to better reflect its now-expanded boundaries, the Four Rivers Heritage Area has announced it is now Chesapeake Crossroads Heritage Area. The nonprofit announced the rebranding, along with a new logo, last week after working with The Cyphers Agency out of Crofton to develop the name.
“The name Chesapeake Crossroads is highly resonant for our board and staff, and may be for you all as well,” writes executive director Carol Benson. “There are crossroads, past and present, in our area whose stories should be told. Crossroads connotes much more than crossings, of which we have many: Bay crossings, ferry crossings, railroad crossings, trail crossings. Crossroads often implies connecting points, places where pathways, transportation modes, cultures, and even ideas intersect. And it is often used to represent ethical and moral choices that present themselves for action and decision.”
Chesapeake Crossroads is a part of the Maryland Heritage Areas Program, 13 sites across the state with a mission to preserve historic, natural or cultural resources. Heritage areas help direct the flow of grant money to sites within their boundaries and help boost the state’s tourism economy.
With its boundary expansion last April, the 20-year-old nonprofit added two clusters, three recreational trails, a North County African American trail, plus 12 other standalone sites. The North County African American Trail winds through seven Black communities established before the Civil War. The trail began as part of a bus tour first created by the Northern Arundel Cultural Preservation Society.
The heritage area in Anne Arundel has shifted from a maritime theme of Commerce to Recreation to a land-based version, focused on railroads and trails. Some of the sites included in the expansion have “distinctive natural experiences,” which will add to the group’s ability to share the stories of Native Americans in the area.
“The context of the ‘Chesapeake’ raises our profile far above our four original rivers and coastline, to a wider context where we are eager to play a broader role. We delight in the opportunities that present themselves in this broader name,” stated Benson.