Mrs. Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, has designated the first 26 Preserve America Communities and first two Preserve America Steward programs recognized under the Obama Administration.
The designations are the first since President Obama signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 on March 30, which incorporated significant aspects of the Preserve America program into the national historic preservation infrastructure. The programs seek to actively involve Americans in preserving America's heritage and increasing the positive economic, educational, environmental, and cultural benefits of preservation to their communities. For more information, read about the components of the Communities program and the details of the Stewards program.
The 26 community designations bring to 762 the total number of designations since the program's inception in 2003. The two stewardship designations bring the national total of recognized efforts under Preserve America to 13.
The 26 newest Preserve America Communities are the following:
- Alaska - Seward
- Arkansas - Benton, Pocahontas, Texarkana
- California - Koreatown neighborhood (Los Angeles), Santa Paula
- Connecticut - Old Lyme, Southbury
- Georgia - Cobb County, Darien
- Idaho - Pierce
- Illinois - Riverside
- Louisiana - DeRidder, Ferriday
- Maine - Sanford
- Massachusetts - Falmouth
- Mississippi - Tupelo
- Missouri - Excelsior Springs
- Montana - Missoula County
- New York - Canandaigua, Hunter
- North Carolina - West Salem Historic District (Winston-Salem)
- Ohio - Hudson
- Pennsylvania - Scottdale
- Texas - Seguin
- Wisconsin - Green Bay
The two recent stewardship designations are the following:
- New York - Bateaux Below, Inc., in recognition of its preservation of Lake George's Submerged Heritage Preserves
- Indiana - Historic Preservation Commission of South Bend and St. Joseph County, in recognition of its South Bend Historic City Cemetery Project
The Preserve America program seeks to better fulfill the goals of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 through renewed emphasis in involving Americans in local activities that preserve and appropriately utilize heritage assets through partnerships with federal agencies, state governments, local governments, schools, preservation organizations, and the private sector.
Posted August 4, 2009