By Alison Haller, M.S., Director of Marketing and Communications at Commonwealth Heritage Group, Inc.
Recently, Commonwealth had the chance to talk with Michael Klitzing, the newly appointed director of Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation (CCPR) in Carmel, Indiana. While the conversation originally focused on the motivation behind their recent decision to hire a cultural resource management company to archaeologically investigate a portion of land for their park expansions, the conversation quickly highlighted the goodwill and benefit businesses can obtain by going above and beyond to protect and preserve cultural resources.
CCPR, which manages and maintains more than 500 acres of parks and numerous recreation facilities just north of Indianapolis, has been commended by the park board for establishing a cultural resource management protocol for new developments throughout their community. “Protecting cultural resources builds to our credibility; it demonstrates to the park board, city council, and elected officials we are being proactive [so we can] better understand what was there historically,” said Klitzing.
The inclination to preserve cultural resources has recently been gaining more traction in Hamilton County. Due to recent violations within the area, CCPR found that hiring a CRM firm, along with making sure proper state and federal laws are being followed, is crucial to the progress and success of protecting any cultural resources. Even though there are no laws or requirements for the Board of Parks and Recreation to hire a cultural resources firm for projects, Klitzing shared that “we felt that by doing so, we were doing the right thing…we want to demonstrate as a park system how we give great value in great efforts to document and demonstrate that we truly believe in protecting cultural resources.”