Preserve America Grants in 17 States Announced; First Preserve America Stewards Designees Announced

Last edited 09/29/2021

WASHINGTON -- Mrs. Laura Bush, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) Chairman John L Nau, III, today announced the first round of Preserve America Grants for FY 2009 for a total of nearly $3 million for 31 community and state and tribal historic projects located in 17 states. Also, 11 Preserve America Stewards were officially designated and recognized for their exemplary volunteer efforts to care for historic resources around the country.

Preserve America is a White House initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy our nation's heritage. Scarlett and Nau co-chair Preserve America. Mrs. Bush has served as Honorary Chair of Preserve America since its inception in March 2003.

"The Preserve America Initiative was launched by President Bush to promote cultural and natural preservation and to encourage greater appreciation of our national heritage," Mrs. Bush said. "Thanks to each of these grant recipients for the work they are doing to preserve our nation's important historical landmarks."

The Preserve America Grant program is administered by the Department of the Interior's National Park Service in partnership with the ACHP. The competitive matching grants fund Preserve America Communities, State Historic Preservation Offices, and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices to support their preservation efforts through heritage tourism, education and historic preservation planning.

Over the course of seven competitive rounds since 2006, a total of more than $20 million in Preserve America Grants has been awarded to 259 projects in 49 states. In FY 2006 and 2007, just under $5 million was available. In FY 2008, a total of $7.2 million was available. For the first round in FY 2009 under the continuing resolution, $3 million is currently available. In all, the National Park Service has received 619 applications requesting more than $58 million. Each project requires a 50/50 match leveraging over $40 million for heritage tourism and related work at the local level.

“These Preserve America Grants help weave cultural and natural heritage into the economic, educational, and social well-being of communities by promoting heritage tourism,” Scarlett said.

The Preserve America Stewards program recognizes programs at the state, tribal, local, or regional level that have demonstrated a successful use of volunteer time and commitment in order to help care for our cultural heritage. It is administered by ACHP in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management. To be designated, applicants must demonstrate that their programs: (1) Encourage individuals, families, non-governmental organizations, and businesses to get involved in preserving and promoting our heritage in a direct and tangible way; (2) Fill a significant need in heritage preservation and education through the use of volunteers of all backgrounds, levels of commitment, and abilities; and (3) Demonstrate innovative and creative use of volunteer assistance in areas such as youth involvement, volunteer training, public education, and public/private partnerships.

“The Preserve America Stewards Program is a key component of the initiative which recognizes the efforts of citizens across the country who are providing an invaluable service in helping to preserve our nation's historical and natural assets,” Nau said.

More information on Preserve America, including a complete list of grant recipients, criteria and application forms for various components of the initiative including the Preserve America Stewards, can be found at

A list of the 31 grant projects and 11 new Stewards follows:

FY 2009 Preserve America Grants

Round 1
(By State)


Preserve America Community Program for Arkansas
Arkansas State Historic Preservation Office


This grant award will support the State Historic Preservation Office's newly established Preserve America Community Agent that could serve as a model to other states. The state has embarked on an ambitious one-year work plan to develop the Preserve America program at the state level through training, coordination, and community-building with the goal of increasing the number of Preserve America communities in Arkansas and supporting their preservation and heritage tourism efforts, leading to increased state-wide economic development.

Branding the City of North Little Rock National Register Historic Riverfront and Historic Sites
North Little Rock, Arkansas


The City of North Little Rock plans to establish its unique identity through a strategic plan that focuses on both individually listed properties, through materials that identify and interpret significant places, and the City's historic riverfront, through the development of signage that directs visitors to and educates them about historic sites.


Asian Pacific Islander Neighborhoods Cultural Heritage and Hospitality Education and Training
City of Los Angeles' Preserve America Neighborhoods: Chinatown, Little Tokyo and Thai Town


This project aims to build cultural identity and understanding within various Asian-Pacific Islander neighborhoods in Los Angeles and to reach out to the greater community through the provision of training materials and programs in historic preservation, cultural tourism, and hospitality services. The project includes a critical assessment of historic and cultural resources, development of hospitality training materials, training materials for communities to become self-sustaining heritage centers, and provides historic preservation professional development opportunities for community residents.


Promoting Mesa Verde Country, Past and Present
Montezuma County, Colorado


Mesa Verde Country and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center will collaborate on a promotional project intended to increase visitation to Mesa Verde Country, introduce local residents and tourists to the archeological resources located in Montezuma County and educate them about past and present Pueblo Indian culture. The project will include the development and enhancement of electronic and print media and through participation in Mesa Verde Country and Crow Canyon's programs and events.

Regional Wayfinding and Interpretation for Southeast Colorado
Otero County, Colorado


This project will link and promote a variety of historic assets found in the southeast region of Colorado. Materials to be developed will include a guidebook to heritage sites, maps, a regional heritage website, all of which will increase awareness of the assets ranging from a Japanese Internment Camp, the Santa Fe Trail, local museums, and State and National historic sites.

Implement Specific Tactics of “Historic Lake City” Marketing Plan
Lake City, Colorado


This project will provide increased online presence for Historic Lake City; development of interpretive displays for placement throughout the area; increased regional, statewide, and national media cultivation; collection of audio and video histories; and an annual History Month that coincides with the town's birthday.


Downtown New Britain Wayfinding and Pedestrian Linkages Program
New Britain, Connecticut


The City of New Britain will develop a Downtown Signage Program to increase appreciation and utilization of the historic buildings and parks built when the city was becoming the Hardware Capitol of the World. The creation of a pedestrian friendly environment including wayfinding signs and the support of mixed-use development will encourage cultural activities and aid in the enforcement of historic preservation regulations within the area.


Interpreting Miami's Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Miami, Florida


The City of Miami will produce a multilingual audio tour of the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. It will feature 90 minutes of content in English, Spanish, and Portuguese using archival research and interviews with experts and community members on Miami's premier historic site.

Master Plan for Historic Sunken Gardens
St. Petersburg, Florida


This grant award will support the development of a comprehensive master plan for Sunken Gardens, a four-acre botanical garden established in 1903 located in St. Petersburg's Fourth Street Business District. The master plan will include both the preservation of the gardens and educational programming.


Preserving and Promoting Illinois' Oldest Town
Palestine, Illinois


This project will aid in the creation of a strategic heritage tourism plan for the Village of Palestine. The plan will provide direction for the promotion of the town's historic properties, heritage events, and local businesses, and will consequently strengthen visitor experience to the area. A collaborative promotional strategy will encourage the utilization of visitor resources to a greater extent and increase market reach.


Inventory and Promotion of Indiana's Prehistoric Mounds and Earthworks
Indiana State Historic Preservation Office


The Indiana State Historic Preservation Office recognizes that prehistoric mounds and other types of earthworks are highly threatened and irreplaceable archeological resources. In partnership with archeologists at several of the state's universities, the office will create a comprehensive inventory of Indiana's prehistoric mounds and earthworks, develop a narrative report of findings and recommendations, and establish a webpage to educate the public.


City of Bath Historical Markers Project
Bath, Maine


The City of Bath will create a series of interpretative signs around the city and a walking tour brochure that notes the location of historic sites and interprets the city's history. Sites included will highlight architectural treasures and relay stories of notable persons and events of the city's 400-year history.


Improving Public Access to Maryland's Inventory of Historic Properties
Maryland State Historic Preservation Office


Funds will allow the Maryland State Historic Preservation Office will provide Internet access to the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties, which includes data and documentation on more than 12,000 archeological sites and 80,000 historic and architectural resources. This will aid in educating the public about the historic resources in their communities and help preservationists utilize historic property information to support resource protection and heritage tourism development.

County Archeology Collections Exhibit Pilot Project
Maryland State Historic Preservation Office


This project supports a pilot state-county partnership to develop publicly accessible exhibits of archeological materials currently housed at the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory (MAC Lab). Exhibits will be developed in two counties with the assistance of local partners and accompanied by related lectures and workshop programs, to be followed by an evaluation period to determine future application of similar programs throughout the state. Results include conservation of cultural collections, technical assistance to local communities for historic preservation efforts, and heritage education.

Civil War Podcast Driving Tour
Rockville, Maryland


The City of Rockville will produce a driving tour Podcast of the Civil War activities that took place in Montgomery County, in concert with the sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War. The product will enable locals and visitors to take self-guided tours of the county to understand the important role the county played in the Civil War.


Brownville Walking Tour: Markers, Gateway Signs, Brochure and DVD
Brownville, Nebraska


The Village of Brownville will develop a walking tour brochure and map that guides visitors through the Village's historic district and highlights points of historic interest marked by wayfinding signs. Funds will also be used to develop a DVD that provides visitors with a summation of the town's history that will run in the Village's Visitor Center, Museum, and Historical Society office.

New York

Heritage Tourism in Cold Spring New York
Putnam County, New York


This grant project will be used to create museum exhibits, an interactive historic website, and collateral education programs that highlight the area's important role as the industrial center for West Point. Exhibits will also highlight steamship travel along the Hudson River, and the artistic development of the area promoted by 18th century author George Pope Morris.

Promoting a City's Rich History: Downtown Syracuse
Syracuse, New York


The City of Syracuse plans to implement a strategic promotional program designed to encourage tourism, patronage, commerce, and occupancy in its historic downtown. The project has three components: 1) Marketing the downtown as a cultural destination; 2) Promoting the redevelopment, use, and occupancy of historic buildings; and 3) Promoting events, visitation, patronage, and visitor guidance downtown. Products will include several walking tour brochures and maps, three historic downtown neighborhood brochures, maps of downtown business and their locations within historic districts, an enhanced visitor website, an expanded advertising campaign for the city, and planning assistance for downtown commercial property owners.


Shawnee As a Destination: Priority Property Asset Plan

Shawnee, Ohio


The Village of Shawnee, which serves as a gateway to the Little Cities of Black Diamonds region and the Wayne National Forest, will identify the most vulnerable properties of its Main Street Historic district and plan for their restoration and reuse. Funds will also be used to design a streetscape for the downtown historic district in an effort to spur tourism-based economic development.


Simon Silk Mill Complex Revitalization Planning Project
Easton, Pennsylvania


The City of Easton will conduct a historic site and conditions assessment and adaptive use plan of the 19 remaining buildings of the 19th century Simon Silk Mill Complex, one of the largest and most advanced such facilities of its time. The goal will be to create a cultural destination that utilizes these important historic structures.

Lancaster County Historic Resource Inventory: Phase 1

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania


Funding will be used to survey Lancaster County's tangible historic resources targeting 14 historic boroughs. This collection of information will serve as a basis to implement Heritage, Lancaster County's Cultural Heritage Element of the County Comprehensive Plan.

Prelude to Gettysburg – Pennsylvania Past Players Living History Project
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania


Funding will contribute to the completion of phase three development and implementation of the living history project entitled “The Pennsylvania Past Players,” as part of the promotional strategy for Pennsylvania's Civil War and Underground Railroad trails. Phase three of the project launches a passport program linking 25 heritage sites with complimentary lodging and hospitality services, a component for the exploration of sites associated with people of historic significance, a series of travel itineraries, initiates a docent training curriculum for high school juniors and seniors, and utilizes previously filmed Preserve America television episodes for development of new cultural web-based products.

Cynwyd Heritage Trail – Interpretive Signage and Materials
Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania


This project will install interpretive signage along the Cynwyd Heritage Trail, a two-mile-long paved recreational trail linking numerous historic resources along a former rail corridor in the Township. Funds will also be used to create supporting print and web-based materials that will help trail users understand and appreciate the rich railroad heritage of the area.

South Dakota

South Dakota Cultural Resources Online GIS and Digitization Project
South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office


This grant will be used to develop an online cultural resources GIS application and digitize approximately 16,000 images of historic buildings in the State Archives collection. This will make the South Dakota historic sites inventory available to online users and provide materials to promote heritage tourism in South Dakota to local organizations helping to meet the 2010 Initiative for State tourism development. Communities will also receive DVDs of their community-specific resources.


Re-Encuentro: Seeing El Paso Through New Eyes
El Paso, Texas


The El Paso History Museum will partner with the city's library, Historic Preservation Office, and local universities, colleges, and schools to provide middle and high school students with knowledge of the area's rich architectural history. Students will research and document properties with architectural significance and prepare their findings for future historic designation.


Port Townsend Wayfinding and Heritage Marker Project
Port Townsend, Washington


The City of Port Townsend will design and implement a comprehensive wayfinding sign and marker program that will guide visitors to important destinations and amenities throughout the town, creating a theme that unifies the city's disparate historic, scenic, and cultural assets and attracts heritage tourism. This project will define Port Townsend as a maritime and arts community, and provide easier access to the different visitor districts and historic properties through the use of signage, maps and information kiosks, and historic markers. The wayfinding program will create unique markers for each historic district and easier to understand directional signage to and between visitor sites.

Stevens County Crossroads on the Columbia Digital Archive
Stevens County, Washington


This grant award will allow Stevens County to digitize historic documents, pictures, and artifacts that are currently spread across museums, public, and private collections, assembling and indexing them on a website so that they are easily accessed by preservationists and the public.

Inventory, Evaluation and Documentation of Maritime Heritage Sites in Washington
Washington State Historic Preservation Office


The Washington State Historic Preservation Office will initiate inventory and documentation of the state's historic and diverse maritime resources, from Native American canoes to modern trade and naval defense, and invest in the development of heritage tourism around the region's waterways. The office's goal is to generate a proposal for the nation's first National Heritage Area to focus exclusively on maritime history.


De Pere Lockkeeper's House Feasibility Study and Historic Structure Report
De Pere, Wisconsin


This grant award will allow the City of De Pere to examine the De Pere Lockkeeper's House, a contributing structure to the De Pere Lock and Dam Historic District that is significant to Wisconsin's maritime history. Funds will produce a Historic Structure Report and a Feasibility Study to determine the best future use for the property. The city intends for it to serve as a heritage tourism attraction whose rehabilitation will be used as a model for similar structures along the Fox River.

A Walk in the Footsteps of Our Elders Project
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Tribal Historic Preservation Office


The Lac du Flambeau Band of Chippewa Indians plans to promote and enhance heritage tourism through the interpretation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Government Boarding School Complex, located in the heart of the Lac du Flambeau reservation. The development of these interpretive materials will involve and engage tribal youth, instilling in them a preservation ethic. This project implements an interpretive plan commissioned by the Tribe in 2008, as part of a long-term management plan for the preservation and interpretation of the Boarding School Complex. This project will highlight the Boy's Dormitory which is undergoing restoration as part of a recent Save America's Treasures grant.

Heritage Tourism Community Training and Support Initiative
Wisconsin Historical Society (State Historic Preservation Office)


With this grant award, the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office will support and encourage heritage tourism in the state by developing training materials for property owners and community preservationists. Materials will provide instructions for best historic preservation practices and effective means for promoting historic properties to generate local economic development and heritage tourism.

Preserve America Stewards

Alutiiq Museum
In recognition of its Archaeological Site Stewardship Program
Kodiak, Alaska

The Alutiiq Museum, a nationally acclaimed Native American cultural center dedicated to preserving and sharing Alutiiq heritage, partners with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect archaeological sites in Alaska's Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge on Kodiak Island. The annual Archaeological Site Stewardship Program recruits local volunteers to monitor and document sites in the 1.9 million acre wilderness area.

Chimney Rock Interpretive Association
In recognition of its Chimney Rock Interpretive Program
Near Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Since 1988, the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) has partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to interpret and protect the unique historic resources of the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area. Through CRIA's Chimney Rock Interpretive Program, volunteers conduct guided tours, monitor and maintain sites, and educate the public on the importance of protecting archaeological resources.

Cornerstones Community Partnerships
In recognition of its preservation of historic adobe buildings of the Southwest
Projects principally in New Mexico, but also in Arizona, Colorado, Texas, and California

Cornerstones Community Partnerships, founded in 1986, works to preserve historic adobe buildings as well as community traditions. At more than 300 locations, Cornerstones has organized volunteer efforts that revitalize communities, conserve historic buildings, maintain traditional building skills, and affirm culture.

Glasco Community Foundation

In recognition of its preservation of the Glasco Downtown Historic District

Glasco, Kansas

The Glasco Community Foundation (GCF) was established in 1999 to channel volunteer efforts to preserve the built and social assets of Glasco, Kansas. GCF volunteers have worked to nominate the Glasco Downtown Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places, rehabilitated a historic building for community use, and promoted heritage tourism through participation in the Solomon Valley Highway 24 Heritage Alliance.

InfoAge Science-History Center
In recognition of its preservation of the Camp Evans Historic District
Wall Township, New Jersey

The InfoAge Science-History Center has played a pivotal role in ensuring the continued preservation of Camp Evans, site of a pre-World War I Marconi Station and other important advances in the development of modern communications. Since the facility's closure by the Army, the Center's volunteers have worked to ensure its protection during transfer from federal ownership, to rehabilitate its buildings and grounds, and to interpret its rich history to the public.

Monterey State Historic Park
In recognition of its Volunteers in Parks Program
Monterey, California

As part of the statewide Volunteers in Parks Program, local volunteers are working to protect, promote, and preserve the historic resources of Monterey State Historic Park, which contains an array of historic buildings from California's earliest capital city. Among other activities, volunteers interpret life in the diverse cultures of early California through living history presentations and a hands-on living history program for elementary school students.

New Mexico SiteWatch
In recognition of its Site Stewardship Program
New Mexico (statewide)

New Mexico SiteWatch is a statewide volunteer program, coordinated by the New Mexico State Historic Preservation Office, which enlists citizens to serve as stewards and docents for archaeological sites and other cultural resources. Volunteers help to preserve and protect historic properties through site monitoring; assisting in surveys, mapping projects, and rock art recording; site documentation; public outreach; and other activities.

Oberlin Heritage Center
In recognition of its preservation of the Oberlin Heritage Center Complex
Oberlin, Ohio

Volunteers are the backbone of the Oberlin Heritage Center, a complex of historic buildings (including a 1830s one-room schoolhouse) that document the history of Oberlin and its role in the 19th century abolitionist movement. Volunteers work as docents, staff summer youth camps for hands-on-history learning, conduct research, assist in buildings and grounds maintenance, and help maintain a Resource Center on local history and genealogy.

San Juan Mountains Association
In recognition of its Southwest Colorado Cultural Site Stewardship Program
Southwestern Colorado

The San Juan Mountains Association is a non-profit partner of the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, and the Association's Southwest Colorado Cultural Site Stewardship Program (CSSP) provides essential “eyes and ears” through volunteer monitoring of federally-owned archaeological sites. A new CSSP initiative is the Family Stewards Project, that trains youths and their parents in archaeological site stewardship.

U.S. Forest Service
In recognition of its Passport in Time Program

Volunteers in the U.S. Forest Service's Passport in Time (PIT) Program work in national forests on historic preservation projects such as archaeological excavation and survey, historic structure restoration, and analysis and curation of artifacts. Since the program's inception in 1989, more than 29,000 volunteers have contributed time valued at over $21 million. Other federal agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, have also started to partner with PIT to further increase volunteer opportunities.

United States Lighthouse Society
In recognition of its preservation of the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse
near Annapolis, Maryland

In 2004, the United States Lighthouse Society entered into a 90-year lease for the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, a National Historic Landmark that is located about 1-1/2 miles offshore in the Chesapeake Bay. Since then, volunteers have done everything from window restoration to lead paint abatement as part of building rehabilitation. Volunteers also conduct research and serve as docents for public tours.

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