and Mrs. Bush Present First
Preserve America Presidential Awards
May 3, 2004, Washington, DCThe President and Mrs. Laura Bush presented the first four Preserve America Presidential Awards at a White House ceremony today.
Two honorees were selected in each of two categories: Heritage Tourism, for projects that exemplify efforts that demonstrate commitment to the protection and interpretation of America's cultural or natural heritage assets; and Private Preservation, for outstanding privately funded historic preservation projects that are funded priviately or through public-private partnerships and that support the Administration's Preserve America initiative objectives.
2004 Preserve America Presidential Awards for Heritage Tourism
Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative, located in North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia. This initiative promotes four groups of heritage tourism trails: Blue Ridge Music; Cherokee Heritage; Craft Heritage; and Farms, Gardens and Countryside.
The development of guidebooks for driving tours helps visitors explore important cultural stories, places and traditions of the southern mountains.
Accepting the award were Ms. Mary Regan, Executive Director, and Mr. Wayne Martin, Folklife Director, of the North Carolina Arts Council (pictured above).
Lackawanna Heritage Valley, located in northeast Pennsylvania. The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority and its partners are bringing into focus the significant cultural and natural resources of Lackawanna Valley by considerably investing in the region, leading to an increase in tourism that has also contributed to the local economy.
The project has stimulated environmental renewal, contributed greatly to education, and created a visitors center, greenways, trails, festivals, projects, volunteer programs and museums.
Accepting the award were Mr. John W. Cosgrove, Executive Director, and the Honorable Randy Castellani, Chairman, of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority.
2004 Preserve America Presidential Awards for Private Preservation
Historic Beaumont Hotel, located in Ouray, Colorado. The Beaumont Hotel was built in the 1880's when Ouray was one of the richest silver and gold mining areas in the western United States, yet has remained abandoned for 34 years despite its listing in 1973 on the National Register of Historic Places.
Demolition of the hotel was a strong possibility until the Kings recognized its cultural and economic importance and purchased the structure in 1998. After extensive study and planning, they completed a $6 million restoration and the Beaumont reopened for business in 2003.
Accepting the award were owners and restorers Mary and Dan King, principals of High Peak Resources, Inc.
Historic Raven Natural Resources Learning Center, Kootenai National Forest, Libby, Montana. The Historic Raven Natural Resources Learning Center began in 1906 as the Raven Ranger Station to support the newly created U.S. Forest Service as a supply station on the southern end of the Kootenai National Forest.
The ProviderPals, the U.S. Forest Service, local communities, individuals, major foundations, schools and business partnered to preserve the historic place and in the process created a learning center that brings students and teachers from across the nation to learn about natural and cultural resources at the site.
Accepting the award were Mr. Bruce Vincent, Executive Director, ProviderPals; and Mr. Bob Castaneda, Forest Supervisor, United States Department of Agriculture.
For more information on the Preserve America initiative and the Call for Nominations dates for next year's Preserve America Presidential Awards, visit www.firstlady.gov or our Preserve America Presidential Award Web page.
All photos by White House photographer Paul Morse
Updated October 22, 2004