horizontal banner with Preserve America logo and images of a historic downtown, farm, courthouse, and mountain

Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Laura Bush Designates 31 Preserve America Communities in Kentucky

April 20, 2004, Louisville, Kentucky—Mrs. Laura Bush today designated 31 Kentucky cities and towns as the Nation's newest Preserve America communities, the largest and most unique group honored to date since the first eight community designations were made January 15, 2004.

Representatives of Versailles, Kentucky, Mrs. Bush, and ACHP Chairman John Nau present Versailles' Preserve America Community sign at the Kentucky communities' designation ceremony in Louisville. Photo by KY-SHPO

"Preserve America communities demonstrate that they are committed to preserving America's heritage while ensuring a future filled with opportunities for learning and enjoyment," Mrs. Bush said.

"This new community designation program, combined with the Preserve America Presidential Awards and Federal support, provides strong incentives for continued preservation of our cultural and natural heritage resources. I commend you for your commitment to preserving an important part of our Nation's historic past for visitors, neighbors, and, most importantly, for children."

Communities designated today at a special event at the Louisville Water Tower, a National Historic Landmark, are:

Anchorage Ashland Bardstown

Bowling Green








Fort Thomas





Horse Cave






Mount Sterling

Newport Paducah Scottsville
Richmond Shelbyville Springfield

[read more about the Kentucky Preserve America Communities]

Joining Mrs. Bush in the designation event were Lynn Scarlett, Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget, U.S. Department of the Interior, and John L. Nau, III, Chairman of the Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

The 31 communities designated today are the largest group ever designated at one time, and put Kentucky in the national vanguard of the Preserve America Community effort.

Including Versailles, which received its designation at the White House on January 15 as the initial representative of the State's many communities that have applied, Kentucky now contains 32 of the Nation's current total of 65 Preserve America communities, with more applications being received and processed for future designations.

Kentucky's strong showing was the result of early recognition of the value of the Preserve America initiative to heritage tourism for the state and its communities, and an effort headed by the State Historic Preservation Officer, David Morgan, to alert communities to the opportunities it created for them.

Officials from the communities received certificates of designation signed by Mrs. Bush.

Preserve America is a new White House initiative to encourage and support community efforts for the preservation and enjoyment of America's priceless cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the initiative include: a greater shared knowledge about the nation's past; strengthened regional identities and local pride; increased local participation in preserving the country's cultural and natural heritage assets; and support for the economic vitality of our communities.

Communities designated through the program receive national recognition for their efforts. Other benefits include appropriate use of the Preserve Americalogo on signs and promotional materials; notification to media, State tourism offices, and visitor bureaus; and listing on a Web-based directory to showcase preservation efforts and highlight heritage tourism destinations.

The Bush Administration's fiscal year 2005 budget contains a request for $10 million in grant funds for which communities meeting the Preserve Americacriteria will be eligible to apply. These matching fund grants of $50,000 to $250,000 would go on a competitive basis to projects that preserve and use important historic resources for promotion of heritage tourism and other economic revitalization projects.

Assistant Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett said, "Under the leadership of Secretary Gale Norton, the Department of the Interior is achieving significant on-the-ground results by working with local communities and individuals to achieve conservation through cooperation, communication, and consultation—what Secretary Norton calls 'the 4 Cs.'

"Heritage tourism plays a vital role in both preserving our national heritage and stimulating local economies. The $10 million in Preserve America grants contained within the Department of the Interior's FY 2005 budget will advance this vision. It is an honor to be here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I commend Governor Fletcher and his team for both their dedication to historic preservation and their ability to deliver results to the people of this great State."

ACHP Chairman John L. Nau, III, said, "There are significant economic, educational, and cultural benefits that historic preservation, through efforts such as heritage tourism, bring to a community. Sustainable preservation is not a cost for maintaining the past; it is an investment in building the future. You have shown that your communities and your State are national leaders in this trend, and have created a powerful positive example for others."

The ACHP partners with the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce to administer the Preserve America initiative on behalf of the Office of the First Lady.

Updated November 23, 2004

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