Solicitation for CESU Cooperator to complete NHA Evaluation for Abraham Lincoln NHA

June 15, 2022

The National Park Service (NPS) evaluates National Heritage Area (NHA) coordinating entities prior to sunset of their federal funding authority. An evaluation methodology has been developed that allows NPS to make recommendations to Congress regarding the future role of NPS with respect to each NHA studied. The evaluation methodology is attached. We expect to accomplish one NHA evaluation under a task agreement using the established methodology. The area to be evaluated is Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area (ALNHA) which comprises a 43-county area of central Illinois. The results of the evaluation will be used to inform the Secretary of the Interior's report to Congress that will include a recommendation for the future role of the NPS with respect to ALNHA.

The Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area (ALNHA) was designated by Congress in 2008. The non-profit Looking for Lincoln acts as the coordinating entity for the 43-county heritage area and partners with Lincoln Home National Historic Site, local communities, organizations, and individuals dedicated to enhancing the communities and landscapes of central Illinois through recognition and support of their significant natural, cultural, and historical legacies. As the only heritage area named for an American President, Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Areas (ALNHA) is home to a unique collection of American history and shares a deeper look inside the life and times of Abraham Lincoln in central Illinois.  

The project objective is to fulfill the evaluation requirements and, specifically, to conduct an evaluation of the accomplishments of ALNHA that addresses the following:

  1. a) Assess the progress of the local coordinating entity with respect to
    • (i) Accomplishing the purposes of the authorizing legislation for the National Heritage Area (P.L. 110-229, title IV, Sections 441-451; P.L. 116-9, title VI, Section 6002); and
    • (ii) Achieving the goals and objectives of the approved management plan for the National Heritage Area;
  2. Analyze the investments of Federal, State, Tribal, and local government, and private entities in the National Heritage Area to determine the impact of the investments; and
  3. Review the management structure, partnership relationships, and funding of the National Heritage Area for purposes of identifying the critical components for sustainability of the National Heritage Area.

The NPS will provide established evaluation methodology, background information regarding the NHAs program, and contact information for the ALNHA. Cooperator’s tasks to complete an NHA evaluation include, but not be limited to:

  • Meet with ALNHA coordinating entity Executive Director and Staff to develop Logic model to guide outcomes-based evaluation process
  • Review and analyze financial data
  • Conduct topic-centered interviews with NHA Staff, NHA Partners, and NHA community network
  • Analyze data and prepare draft findings document
  • Finalize findings document in coordination with NHA under evaluation and the NPS review team to ensure factual accuracy
  • Provide project status reports as stated within the task agreement
  • Provide final findings document

The findings document shall not be shared outside government until a Congressional Report based on the findings is delivered to Congress by the National Park Service.

Award Amount

Not to exceed $49,500.

Period of Performance

The period of performance will be approximately October 1, 2022 to July 31, 2023. Work may be performed at the Cooperator’s place of business, on-site in the NHA being evaluated, and at NPS offices.  This time period may be adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


ALNHA findings document [one (1) pdf copy via email, 12 print copies. Documents will comply with the document accessibility requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998 (29 U.S.C. § 794 (d)).

Proposal Submissions

The Cooperator shall describe its technical approach to the tasks outlined above, to include a proposed project timeline and budget, not to exceed $49,500.  Budget may include personnel, benefits, supplies, equipment, travel to ALNHA, printing, indirect costs.  Submissions should also include resumes of the principal investigator and any other teams members.

Proposals are due to Danny Filer via email at [email protected] no later than Friday, July 1, 2022 by 12 noon ET.