Oil Region National Heritage Area | The Valley that Changed the World


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Coronavirus Information and Resources

While information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to evolve, we encourage you to stay informed via the following resources.

As of Wednesday, July 22, the Oil Region Alliance staff will return to working remotely whenever possible. The office will remain closed to the public except by appointment and with proper masking and temperature checks. Contact information for each staff member is available here.

Questions concerning Oil Region Alliance procedures during the Coronavirus or any of the information contained here may be directed to Info@OilRegion.org.

As of July 1, Governor Wolf mandates “universal masking” for people leaving their homes. Get details from the following PDF.


Illustrated step-by-step tips for making a mask are available through this New York Times article.

Regular updates by the PA Department of Health can be found here.

A fact sheet produced by the Centers for Disease Control can be found here.

The Department of Labor’s explanation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act can be found here.

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to understanding the CARES Act can be found in the following PDF.

CARES ACT INFO (003) (1)

Who can work? Get the list of industries allowed to work during the shutdown as determined by Governor Wolf as of 5:45 p.m. March 21, 2020:
Industry Operation Guidance

The following PDF outlines Governor Wolf’s mitigation plan from March 12, 2020.

Governor Wolf COVID 19 PA Mitigation Protocol March 12, 2020

The U.S. Travel Association offers up-to-date information to prepare those traveling throughout the nation.

Visit their website here.

For our friends and partners in the hospitality industry, we recommend the support of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association

Here’s the latest.

Oil Region Featured in Alliance of National Heritage Areas Newsletter

The Alliance of National Heritage Areas recently featured the Oil Region and its recognition of Chief Cornplanter in their newsletter, Heart & Soul.

You can check out the full article on page 5 along with the rest of the newsletter in the following PDF:

ANHA_Heart & Soul_July 2020


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ORA Announces Mini Grant for Tourism Rack Card and Brochure Printing

The Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry and Tourism is offering mini grants for printing brochures and rack cards for tourism destinations in the Oil Region.

Both non-profits such as museums and for profits like shops and restaurants are welcome to apply for half the cost of printing a brochure or rack card up to $500. Applicants are required to match the cost. Only one grant may be awarded per cycle per location.

To apply, submit a final copy of the product to be printed (with the acknowledgment of funding support by the ORA specified in the rules,) a copy of the quote or proposal for the printing cost, and a completed W-9 and application. Rules and applications are available at the ORA office at 217 Elm Street, Oil City and online on this page.2020 Mini Grant Application FINAL

Applications are due by Friday, March 13, 2020 in hard copy form to the ORA office or via e-mail to Emily Altomare at ealtomare@oilregion.org.

The ORA will respond to applicants by Friday, March 20, 2020.

The Oil Region Alliance must review and approve all materials before they are printed and reserves the right to not fund the grant if the final product does not adhere to the guidelines.

Printing should be completed and stock should be delivered to the ORA office by Friday, May 1, 2020 for distribution throughout the Oil Region, which includes all of Venango County and sites in Titusville and Foxburg.

Questions can be directed to Emily Altomare at ealtomare@oilregion.org.

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Town Hall Meeting for Faith and Civic Leaders – January 30, 2020

A Town Hall Meeting will take place on Thursday, January 30, 2020 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 1041 Liberty Street in Franklin, PA.

The Meeting is a workshop to connect faith and civic leaders to:

1) brainstorm ideas and create opportunities to partner on space-sharing concepts between churches and various organizations;

2) provide an opportunity to network with regional faith, non-profit, educational, and civic groups; and

3) establish a sustainable plan to continue working towards creative partnerships between faith and community organizations.

In the Oil Region, we have numerous large historic churches that are looking for ways to adapt to smaller memberships and funding sources while continuing to play integral roles in their communities. As this issue extends beyond the Oil Region, anyone is welcome to attend to learn more or to share their experiences.

The Town Hall Meeting will be presented by Partners for Sacred Places (Partners), of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with support from the Oil Region Alliance and Bridge Builders Community Foundations. Partners, founded in 1989, is the only national, non-sectarian, non-profit organization focused on building the capacity of congregations of historic sacred places to better serve their communities as anchor institutions, nurturing transformation, and shaping vibrant, creative communities.

Please direct questions about the meeting to Jenn Burden, Oil Region Alliance at jburden@oilregion.org or 814.677.3152 or to Trenton Moulin, Bridge Builders Community Foundations at trenton@bbcf.org or 814.677.8687.

RSVPs are appreciated to jburden@oilregion.org. The meeting is free to attend.

Off street parking is available behind the church from Buffalo Street.

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Signed Appropriations Bill Solidifies Oil Region National Heritage Area Federal Funding for Next Three Years


The Oil Region Alliance is pleased to announce last week’s passage of Fiscal Year 2020 Interior Appropriations Act.  Among other provisions, the federal funding authorization to the Oil Region National Heritage Area (ORNHA) is extended for three more years.

“We thank all our friends in the House and Senate, their staff, and, of course, the President, for their confidence in the Alliance and the work we have done for the last 15 years.  These actions by Congress and the President ensure our continued work on Economic Development, Heritage Preservation, Outdoor Recreation Development, and Tourism Marketing in the Oil Region,” said John R. Phillips, II, President and Chief Executive Officer of the ORA which administers the ORNHA.

Friday, December 20, 2019 President Trump signed the FY 2020 Appropriations Acts; the domestic package set includes the U. S. Department of the Interior and its National Park Service, thereby including an extension of federal funding for the Oil Region National Heritage Area through September 30, 2022.

“I was proud to lead these efforts in the House with my colleague Congressman Mike Kelly (PA-16).  The extension of the Oil Heritage Region designation is critical to economic development and tourism efforts in the Oil Region and an appropriate recognition of our heritage,” said Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson.

An independent study conducted in 2013 credited the ORNHA with directly and indirectly generating $21.2 million annually in the regional economy, creating and supporting 313 jobs, generating $1.5 million in state/local tax revenues, and partnering with local attractions hosting more than 239,000 visitors each year.

Senator Robert Casey remarked, “The Oil Region National Heritage Area is an exemplar for the type of public-private partnerships that enrich local communities and carry forward the tradition of the National Park Service. I am pleased Congress passed legislation extending the authorization of Oil Region, which will ensure it can continue its important work in northwestern Pennsylvania.”

The ORNHA was initially designated by Congress in 2004.  It consists of Venango County and the communities of Titusville, Hydetown, and Oil Creek Township in Crawford County.  The mission of the Oil Region Alliance is to manage the ORNHA and to increase the prosperity of the Oil Region by enticing people to live, work, learn and play in “The Valley That Changed The World” through the preservation, promotion, development, and support of historical, educational, natural, recreational, residential, commercial and industrial destinations.

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Pennsylvania Oil Region
Oil Region Map
National Park Service