|Laura Bush speaks at a Preserve America event in the East Room Jan. 15, 2004. [White House photo by Susan Sterner]
WASHINGTON - Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today announced the final round of Preserve America grants totaling more than $1.4 million. Close to $5 million has been distributed in 2006.
Mrs. Laura Bush is the Honorary Chair of Preserve America , a White House initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy our nation's cultural and natural heritage.
The Preserve America grant program, administered by the Department of the Interior's National Park Service in partnership with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, offers matching grants. These competitive dollar-for-dollar grants fund designated Preserve America Communities, State Historic Preservation Offices, and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices to support preservation efforts through heritage tourism, education and historic preservation planning. Through these projects, citizens and visitors alike gain a greater shared knowledge about the nation's past, strengthen regional identities and local pride, increase local participation in preserving the country's cultural and natural heritage assets, and support for the economic vitality of our communities.
" Historic preservation has an important place in America . Preserve America promotes education, historic preservation and economic development while encouraging a greater appreciation of our national treasures-from monuments and buildings to landscapes and main streets. President Bush and I want every American, especially our children, to discover and learn about our nation's heritage," Mrs. Bush said.
Secretary Kempthorne congratulated the 23 recipients of Preserve America grants (see attached list). The final round of Preserve America grants provided more than $1.4 million for projects in 17 states representing all regions of the country. New in 2006, this grant program provides funds on a matching basis to assist Preserve America communities with marketing, planning, and educational efforts associated with protection and appropriate use of community heritage. In all, 68 projects will have been awarded within 33 states in 2006.
"History can be an economic engine for the community in which that history took place as more Americans discover and participate in heritage tourism," said Secretary Kempthorne . "These Preserve America grants will help to jump start that economic engine."
"Preserve America grants help communities learn about their history and share it with visitors. These grants make the story of America come alive and create a better understanding of our diverse and rich culture," said John L. Nau , III, chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. "In the process, we help make historic preservation self-sustaining and allow existing resources to make greater contributions to the economic and cultural well-being of communities and the nation."
More information on Preserve America, including a complete list of grant recipients, criteria and application forms for various initiative programs, can be found at www.PreserveAmerica.gov