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Preserve America News from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

In this Issue

America's Great Outdoors
Historic Preservation Helping Connect People with America’s Great Outdoors
Budget Update
New Preserve America Communities Designated
Four Preserve America Stewards Recognized
America's Great Outdoors Report Recognizes Two Preserve America Stewards
Partners in Tourism Announce First Cultural Heritage Tourism Exchange
Dozen Distinctive Destinations Include Preserve America Communities
Upcoming Events
New Cultural Heritage Tourism Survival Toolkit


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Preserve America News |March  2011

America's Great Outdoors

America's Great Outdoors

President Obama unveiled the report titled "America's Great Outdoors: A Promise to Future Generations" at a White House ceremony Feb. 16. The ACHP was involved in development of the report and will play a role in its implementation to help weave cultural heritage and recognition for historic places into key parts of the program. Read more.

East Bay Bike Path historical signage in Barrington, R.I., a recently designated Preserve America Community

Historic Preservation Helping Connect People with America’s Great Outdoors

Historic Preservation Helping Connect People with America’s Great Outdoors

An example of historic preservation helping to connect people with America’s Great Outdoors is the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, Hudson River, N.Y. This 1.3-mile historic former railroad bridge connecting Highland to Poughkeepsie opened in 2009 as a state park following a lengthy historic preservation process and fund-raising campaign. The Hudson River corridor is a National Heritage Area, and the bridge is a national historic civil engineering landmark. The popular pedestrian bridge−the longest in the world–attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Dutchess County, on the east bank of the river, is a Preserve America Community.

Read about the economic impact of the project.

Walkway photo courtesy New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation

Budget Update

The future of funding for the Preserve America Grants program remains unclear for both FY 2011 and FY 2012. In a bill recently passed by the House of Representatives to fund the remainder of FY 2011, the Preserve America Grant program would receive no funding. It remains to be seen whether the Senate will agree with that funding cut. As for FY 2012, the President’s budget does not include funding for the program. Look for updates in future e-newsletters.

Despite the current economic climate and federal budget uncertainty, both the Preserve America Communities and Preserve America Stewards programs continue to encourage and recognize those who protect, care for and share the stories of our irreplaceable and historically significant cultural and natural resources. With a letter and a signed certificate, First Lady Michelle Obama formally designates those who demonstrate that they meet program requirements. Both programs are administered by the ACHP: Preserve America Communities in cooperation with the National Park Service, and Preserve America Stewards in cooperation with the U. S. Bureau of Land Management.

New Preserve America Communities Designated

New Preserve America Communities Designated

First Lady Michelle Obama designated the 15 newest Preserve America Communities on Jan. 21, bringing the total number of designated communities to 858. These newly recognized communities join those previously designated in a national network committed to protect local historic natural and cultural resources and put them to use in ways that create sustainable economic, educational and environmental benefits.

The new communities reflect the diversity of America’s heritage. They are Hamburg, Ark.; Leon County, Fla.; Jones County, Ga.; Litchfield, Minn.; Bridgeton and Roebling, N.J.; Somerset, Ohio; West Linn, Ore.; Barrington, R.I.; Laredo and San Angelo, Texas; Waterford, Va.; Ferry County, Wash.; and Greendale and Milton, Wisc.

Apply for designation as a Preserve America Community; the next quarterly deadline for designation applications is June 1.

Curlew Bridge celebration in Ferry County, Wash.

Four Preserve America Stewards Recognized

Four Preserve America Stewards Recognized

First Lady Michelle Obama designated four new Preserve America Stewards on Feb. 3. Each of the recognized Stewards has demonstrated the successful use of volunteers in helping to care for our historic heritage. Historic properties that have benefitted from the work of these four organizations include historic buildings and structures – including a historic mill village – and historic cemeteries. Read more.

Apply for designation as a Preserve America Steward; the next deadline for applications is June 1. 

Texas Historical Commission RIP Guardian Program

America's Great Outdoors Report Recognizes Two Preserve America Stewards

America's Great Outdoors Report Recognizes Two Preserve America Stewards

The recently launched America’s Great Outdoors Initiative focuses on natural resource conservation but also recognizes the importance of cultural resource protection. Engaging volunteers in the conservation of our natural and cultural heritage is one theme of the initiative. Two Preserve America Stewards are among the examples cited in the Department of the Interior’s new report, "America’s Great Outdoors: A Promise to Future Generations."

The U.S. Forest Service’s Passport in Time Program and the Southern Nevada Agency Partnership’s Cultural Site Stewardship Program are mentioned in the report as good examples of partnerships that are helping to connect Americans to the outdoors. Both programs leverage public dollars by using volunteers to preserve and monitor cultural resources on public lands.

Other Preserve America Stewards programs offer similar opportunities for the public to experience nature while working to conserve historic resources. Read more about Stewards.

Passport In Time volunteers kayak to archaeological sites in Tongass National Forest, Alaska.

Partners in Tourism Announce First Cultural Heritage Tourism Exchange

Partners in Tourism Annouce First Cultural Heritage Tourism Exchange

Partners in Tourism—10 federal agencies and 12 national partners— invite you to attend the first Cultural Heritage Tourism Exchange May 3 in Washington, D.C.
Register now to join this national conversation and:
• Network with peers and representatives to renew partnerships, build new collaborations
• Share your story, insights and opinions about how to advance America’s cultural heritage tourism agenda
• Learn about National Cultural Heritage Tourism Initiatives
• Articulate the relevance of cultural heritage tourism to communities, economies, visitors and national brand
This inaugural event is not a programmed conference. Instead, the one-day exchange provides opportunities for open dialogue and sharing among delegates, facilitated discussions around key national topics, and a venue for identifying/prioritizing strategies to strengthen, unify and mobilize the cultural heritage tourism movement in America.  

The Participants:
• Representatives from “Partners in Tourism”
• Practitioners involved in cultural heritage tourism: Preserve America communities, Main Street communities, historic and cultural sites/attractions, museums, destination marketing and tourism management organizations, heritage areas, national parks, heritage trails and corridors, scenic byways, state and local historical societies, Civil War Commissions, state and regional tourism agencies, local historic preservation commissions, state and local arts agencies, artisan/craft trails, performing arts groups, state and local humanities agencies, museum stores, cultural/historic retail centers and other stakeholder groups.

Cost for the exchange, including lunch, is $99 per person (before April 15). Space is limited to 200 people. Reserve your space now. For more details, the proposed agenda, information on lodging, and some relevant resource material, click here. This page also will allow you to fill out a survey that will help shape the day’s agenda. Questions? Contact chtexchange@me.com.

Dozen Distinctive Destinations Include Preserve America Communities

Dozen Distinctive Destinations Include Preserve America Communities

This year’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations have been announced by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Five of them – Alexandria, Va.; Colorado Springs, Colo .; Muskogee, Okla.; Paducah, Ky.; and San Angelo, Texas -- have also been recognized as Preserve America Communities. These destinations offer an authentic visitor experience by combining dynamic downtowns, cultural diversity, attractive architecture, cultural landscapes and a strong commitment to historic preservation, sustainability and revitalization.

Two of this year’s Distinctive Destinations have received Preserve America Grants. This matching-grant program funding helps designated Preserve America Communities enhance their preservation efforts through heritage tourism, education and historic preservation planning. One of the funded projects was the Colorado Springs Heritage Tourism Pilot Project for $33,720. The city of Colorado Springs chose to highlight five of its historic landmarks and develop a comprehensive strategy that advances awareness of these sites as closely connected heritage tourism resources and destinations. 

The other is the Renaissance Area Master Plan in Paducah, Ky., for $75,000. The city prepared a Renaissance Area Master Plan to link and manage the further growth and development of its new art neighborhood, its downtown and its riverfront.

Muskogee, Okla., Azalea Festival parade

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Preservation Advocacy Week, Washington, D.C., March 7-10
Advocacy day on Capitol Hill, combined with annual meetings of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers and Preservation Action, the National Trust for Historic Preservation Advisors and the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions Board of Directors. See program and registration information.

American Planning Association National Conference, Boston, April 9-12
Preregistration ends March 10; among the many featured mobile workshops and education sessions that focus on historic preservation issues and historic resources in the greater Boston area are such topical session tracks as Green Historic Preservation. See program and registration information.

National Main Streets Conference, Des Moines, May 22-25
See preliminary program and registration information. Mason City, a Main Street and Preserve America Community in north central Iowa that was home to The Music Man composer Meredith Wilson and preserves Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, is featured on an all-day tour.

Mason City- North Iowa Band Festival

New Cultural Heritage Tourism Survival Toolkit

New Cultural Heritage Tourism Survival Toolkit

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has published a “survival” toolkit for heritage tourism organizations and attractions. That work, recently completed and funded through the National Endowment for the Arts, includes identification of 11 survival strategies and a series of nearly 90 case studies that illustrate a variety of these strategies. As the study notes: 

“The recent downturn in the economy has had a major impact on many sectors of the cultural and heritage tourism industry. The news over the past few years includes a number of losses -- heritage sites and museums closing, state programs eliminated, tourism agencies drastically reducing budgets, and cultural heritage tourism programs and organizations cutting back their operations.

Amid the bad news, however, there have been rays of hope -- attractions and marketing organizations standing up to the challenge and finding ways to survive -- if not thrive -- despite the economic downturn. Many of these cultural and heritage sites have found creative ways to stay true to their organization’s mission while reaching for new opportunities." 

The 11 identified survival strategies include the following:
1. Be Ready to Make Your Case
2. Collaborate in New Ways
3. Know Your Customer and Your Product
4. Enhance Your Product to Increase Its Appeal
5. Leverage Anniversaries and Other Celebrations
6. Balance Your Budget
7. Be Creative and Do More With Less
8. Take Advantage of Technology & Social Networking
9. Focus on Customers with the Greatest Potential
10. Serve the Local Community
11. Emphasize Value

Read the full toolkit with linked case studies.  

Preserve America Community St. Augustine, Fla., is part of a featured case study.

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