National Historic Sites of the Mountain Parks
MANAGEMENT PLANNING NEWSLETTER
Management Planning Framework
What is a Management Plan?
Parks Canada is required, by law, to prepare management plans for each of the one hundred and fifty national historic sites it administers across the country. The plan's key role is to set goals for commemorative integrity and visitor services and to suggest strategies to achieve those goals. National historic site managers and staff will rely on the plans to decide where the investment of resources will have the greatest positive impact on commemorative integrity.
Commemorative integrity is to a national historic site what ecological integrity is to a national park -- the who, what, when, where, how, and why a place has been designated. It is an inclusive and holistic approach that is central to the planning, operation, and management of national historic sites.
Commemorative integrity can be said to consist of three basic elements:
- protection of cultural resources (historic buildings, artefacts, landscapes) and special natural features;
- presentation of the site's national historic significance, using exhibits, brochures, guided tours, films, and the internet, both on and off-site;
- management of the site's resources (cultural, natural, contemporary) in a way that protects their heritage value.
All three elements are required to achieve commemorative integrity and no one aspect is more important than another.
While the primary goal of management planning is to ensure commemorative integrity, Parks Canada recognizes it has additional responsibilities. Foremost among these is to offer programs and services that contribute to a positive visitor experience.
The obligation to support a meaningful and memorable visitor experience is important to commemorative integrity. People visit national historic sites for a variety of reasons -- fun, learning, adventure, serenity. A positive experience increases their chances of connecting with these special places or discovering a heightened sense of their identity as Canadians. On the other hand, failure to meet expectations can lead to an ambivalent, even negative, view of Canada's heritage places.
Diagram of the Benchmarks of Success for National Historic Sites. The benchmarks are Protection of Cultural Resources, the Presentation of An Engaging Story and a Positive Visitor Experience.
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