RFP – Phase I Master Plan (Boundary Amendment)

Maryland Milestones/ATHA, Inc.

Phase I Master Plan

Request For Proposals

Maryland Milestones/Anacostia Trails Heritage Area, Inc. (ATHA) is seeking responses from qualified consultants for the completion of a Phase I Master Plan. A primary intent of this project is to address the feasibility of including sites, located outside of the ATHA, within one of the existing Maryland Heritage Areas. The project is grant funded through a conglomeration including Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA), Prince George’s County, and other interested parties. The total cost of the Phase I Master Plan cannot exceed $70,000.

Letters of interest are due by 5 pm on Friday, October 18, 2019.  All proposals are due 5 pm on Thursday, December 12, 2019. The complete RFP schedule is located at the end of this document.


With an office in Hyattsville, Maryland, ATHA seeks to preserve and promote the history, art, culture, and natural resources of the Certified Maryland Heritage Area in northern Prince George’s County. Although ATHA is the only Heritage Area in Prince George’s County, it does not encompass the entire county (see PDF Version).

ATHA is one of thirteen non-profit Heritage Areas within the Maryland Heritage Areas Program; an initiative governed by MHAA and administered by the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT). Within each of the Maryland Heritage Areas, the boundaries, themes, and management are tailored to the uniqueness of the individual area. A general understanding of the MHAA and the various Heritage Areas will be essential to properly evaluating this boundary expansion project. Additionally, the ideal consultant will have knowledge of heritage tourism, historic preservation, economic development, arts and culture, natural resources, and land use, specifically relevant to Maryland and the Washington DC region. The ideal consultant will also have expertise in developing district boundary amendments and multiple property or thematic districts.

Although land use, infrastructure, and development are issues typically associated with a Master Plan, they will not be the focus of this project. As per state regulations for the expansion for a Heritage Area, this project is classified as a boundary addendum project. The final product will focus on the inclusion of sites currently outside of a Maryland Heritage Area. The Phase I Master Plan will provide recommendations for the development of an amended, larger, Heritage Area or Heritage Areas.

Scope of Work

This project will involve analyzing the existing geography and themes of ATHA and making recommendations regarding the potential expansion of the area. Alternatively, this project will make recommendations for expanding one or more of the adjacent Heritage Areas. This project was conceived when historic sites, located within Prince George’s County but outside of ATHA, expressed interest in joining the MHAA program.

A review of existing documentation will be necessary in order to produce the Phase I Master Plan. In addition to the office of ATHA, relevant documents may be located in the offices of Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC), Maryland state offices including MHAA, the offices of other Maryland Heritage Areas, and Prince George’s County Offices. Additionally, various towns and communities may have relevant information on specific sites within their jurisdiction. Individual sites may also have their own resources for relevant information. 

Facilitating Stakeholder Meetings will be a necessary part of the Master Plan preparation process. In addition to ATHA, Stakeholders could include adjacent Heritage Areas, MNCPPC, potential sites, and MHAA staff. Additional Stakeholders may be identified. Although this project does not mandate a fixed number of site visits, limited site visits may be beneficial in understanding both the general area and specific sites.

Also, in addition to the necessary text, the final Phase I Master Plan document should be graphically commutative. As the project addresses geographic issues (site locations, repetitive themes, and area boundaries), the final document needs to visually illustrate the data and the recommendations. This can be done through maps, charts, pictures, etc. Access to/and an understanding of GIS will be necessary in order to produce the required mapping. The final document will be used to communicate boundary recommendations to multiple audiences, including MHAA, potential funders, government agencies, and project stakeholders.  

The following provides an outline of items to be included in the final deliverable. This outline is intended as a guide (it assumes, for example, that much of the graphic information will be included in an appendix which is not necessary).  It will be at the discretion of the contractor to develop the most appropriate order of information and layout for the final document.

Outline of Final Deliverable – Phase I Master Plan

Executive Summary


  1. Overview of MHAA and the Maryland Heritage Areas
  2. Geography of the original ATHA, amended (2015) area, and current area
  3. Short history of ATHA

Thematic Areas and Boundary Analysis

  1. Review of established themes within existing Heritage Areas (ATHA and adjacent Heritage Areas)
  2. Identification of any additional relevant themes and supporting information to justify their inclusion
  3. Analysis of the proposed Heritage Area including justification for amending existing area(s); identification of potential boundaries (may include more than one recommended option, possibility involving more than one existing Heritage Area; in which case, options must be ranked, beginning with “best option”)
  4. Analysis of how established themes relate to proposed boundary amendment, including a survey of existing land uses, historic resources and tourism sites

Potential Management Options with Feasibility Analysis, Regarding Proposed Heritage Area

Assuming a recommended “best option”

  1. Analysis of management practices within the various Maryland Heritage Areas, including existing staffing structure (number of full-time and part-time personnel).
  2. Examination of potential conflicts or issues stemming from existing areas interfacing with new areas
  3. Recommended funding structure; for example, participation dues (including proposed pay structure) vs. county fee (if applicable)
  4. Recommended makeup for the Board of Directors
  5. Recommendations regarding management/operation of proposed Heritage Area, including feasibility of recommendations and methods of communication and prioritization
  6. Suggested partners, including the identification of key individuals and/or organizations and recommended role(s)

In the unlikely event of more than recommended “best option”

  1. The preceding list of items (numbers 1 to 6) would need to be addressed – although to a lesser degree – for each “best option”

Action Plan

  1. Recommended plan of action, outlining specific tasks and identifying person(s) responsible for completing each task
  2. Timeline with established goals and recommended dates for completion


  1. Mapping to visually illustrate proposed Heritage Area boundary
  2. Graphically illustrate the geography of relevant themes
  3. Develop a list of important historic sites, established tourism attractions, artistic and natural sites; graphically illustrate location of sites within proposed Heritage Area; indicate sites with common, to be specified, owner
  4. Develop a list of potential sites that may not be “tourism ready” but could benefit from the Heritage Area Program

Deliverables for the project will include:

                  50% Draft Document (2 hard copies, digital copy)

                  90% Draft Document (2 hard copies, digital copy)

                  Final Document (6 hard copies, digital copy)

Deliverables include all photographs, maps, graphics, etc. All deliverables will be prepared in consultation with ATHA. All materials submitted to ATHA become property of MHAA.

Proposals to Include

All proposals should be complete and prepared in a concise manner. Proposals shall include:

  • Overview of Consultant/Firm
  • Summary of qualifications for the firm and each member of project team, including general and relevant work experience and identification of all professional staff members and/or consultants who will be working on this project (including detailed resumes outlining experience and credentials of each staff member)
  • Portfolio with examples of relevant/similar projects along with completion dates
  • Work plan with methodology outlining approach to complete the project, including (for example) information gathering, analysis, Stakeholder involvement, and document production;
  • Project timeline with proposed completion dates
  • Minimum of three references for completed projects
  • Pricing information (note, this RFP identifies a not to exceed sum for the completion of this grant funded project)

RFP Schedule and Selection Criteria

A schedule for the RFP process follows:

October 8              Post the RFP, formally solicit bids

October 18           Letters of interest from any potential bidders due (deadline is 5 PM)

October 31           Questions/request for clarifications from interested potential bidders due (deadline is 5 PM)

November 11      Provide answers/clarifications to questions

December 12      Proposals due (deadline is 5 PM)

All consultants who submit a letter of interest will be informed of any changes to the RFP, including the RFP schedule.

The winning bidder, if any, will be selected from among all the qualified proposals received prior to the specified deadline. The evaluation process will include, but not be limited to, the experience and expertise of each bidder, price, and where applicable an interview. 


Letters of interest should be forwarded to:

Kirstin Falk

Heritage Programs Project Manager

Maryland Milestones/ATHA Inc.


Or mailing address:                     
4318 Gallatin Street, Hyattsville, MD 20781