S. 577. A bill to establish the Freedom's Way National Heritage Area in the States of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I rise to introduce legislation to establish the Freedom's Way National Heritage Area in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The bill is cosponsored by Senator KENNEDY, Senator GREGG and Senator SUNUNU.
The bill proposes to establish a national heritage area including 36 communities in Massachusetts and six communities in New Hampshire. The area has important cultural and natural legacies that are important to New England and the entire Nation. I want to highlight just a few of the reasons I believe this designation makes sense.
The Freedom's Way is an ideal candidate because it is rich in historic sties, trails, landscapes and views. The land and the area's resources are pieces of American history and culture. The entire region, and especially places like Lexington and Concord, is important to our country's founding and our political and philosophical principles. Within the 42 communities are truly special places. These include the Minuteman National Historic Park, more than 40 National Register Districts and National Historic Landmarks, the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Walden Pond State Reservation, Gardener State Park, Harvard Shaker Village and the Shirley Shaker Village.
In addition, there is strong grassroots support for this designation. The people of these communities organized themselves in this effort and have now turned to us for assistance. I hope we can provide it. Supporters include elected officials, people dedicated to preserving a small piece of American and New England history, and local business leaders. It is an honor to help their cause.
Finally, I am very pleased that Senators from both Massachusetts and New Hampshire have embraced this proposal. I thank Senators KENNEDY, GREGG, and SUNUNU.