There is a wide range of heritage in The County that warrants commemoration. The Planning Act, 1996, requires the County Council to acknowledge the provincial interest in "the conservation of features of significant architectural, cultural, historical, archeological or scientific interest".
The natural heritage of the Sandbanks, the limestone cliffs, the bays and lake vistas and the abundance of wildlife, especially birds and their respective habitat, is varied yet richly concentrated within the relatively small confines of this island community.
Human history is unique, and includes prehistoric archeological sites; early European settlement and transportation routes; and unusual events including the United Empire Loyalist migration, the "underground railroad", smuggling, forestry, mining, lake transport and commercial fishing.
These two major categories of heritage each have their own supporters and specialists, but this somewhat academic distinction is masked by recognition that the two are inseparable: cause and effect go both ways. The Lake and the Island provided the setting for the migrations, the smuggling and the fishing; the land forms provided the basis for the settlements and their patterns, and the two combined are the basis for the culture and lifestyle in the County.
Given the geographical setting of a virtual island, with four bridges and a ferry connecting it to the "rest of Canada", it is natural that a rather unique and self-sufficient culture has developed in "the County". Recognizing and building upon the special natural and historic features, all woven together into a web of heritage, will generate considerable awareness and interest in "County" level association and pride. Overall, this unique interrelated combination of natural and cultural resources has created a distinctive rural landscape.
The Prince Edward Heritage Advisory Committee (PEHAC) has responsibility for stewardship of the rich and diverse natural, cultural and historic resources of Prince Edward County. These resources are intricately linked by "webs of life" in the form of rural vistas and routes, which blend all aspects of the County's heritage into a special cultural mosaic not found elsewhere in Canada. This unique cultural endowment provides the foundation for "The County" to continue its evolution as an attractive place to live, work and visit, for present and future generations.
A Heritage Vision for Prince Edward County: The County of Prince Edward's diverse natural, cultural and historic resources, connected by the living webs of an evolving rural island culture, deserve national recognition as a unique Canadian cultural landscape.
The Mission of the Prince Edward Heritage Advisory Committee is to identify, catalogue, interpret, and promote all natural, historic, cultural and structural heritage assets in the County and to encourage their preservation.
Specifically, PEHAC's mandate is to advise Council on principles and approaches that will safeguard our cultural, historical and natural heritage; and work with other County and provicial bodies to recognize and preserve built, cultural and natural heritage, including interalia, historic structures, urban streetscapes and areas, rural landscapes, areas of scentific interest, scenic routes and archeological sites. PEHAC advises on appropriate heritage resource management in all development and redevelopment in all land use designations within the County; performs the requirements of LACAC; supports the Loyalist Parkway Group of Advisors and advises the Economic Development Department. PEHAC recognizes that the unique combination of natural and cultural resources in The County represents the strongest possible underpinning for economic development to facilitate improvements on the quality of life for which The County is famous.