U.S. Department of the Interior

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Office of the Secretary
June 21, 2007
Shayla Shrieves

Preserve America Communities Now Number 500

Washington, D.C.— Mrs. Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States and honorary chair of Preserve America, announced 500 Preserve America communities have been designated since the first eight communities were recognized in January 2004.

“I want to ensure that our priceless historic properties throughout the nation continue to be preserved, used, and enjoyed for the benefit of future generations,” Mrs. Bush said. “That is why we started the Preserve America initiative – to promote cultural and natural preservation, and to encourage greater appreciation of our heritage – from monuments and buildings, to landscapes and main streets.”

The milestone in the program was reached when the 14 newest communities were notified of their designations via letters sent June 1 by Mrs. Bush. The most recent designees are (alphabetical, by state):

  • Weaverville, California
  • Harlem, Georgia
  • Mackay, Idaho
  • Coon Rapids, Iowa
  • Franklin, Kentucky
  • Crowley, Louisiana
  • Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Huron Township, Michigan
  • Medora, North Dakota
  • Salem, Oregon
  • Easton, Pennsylvania
  • Rio Grande City, Texas
  • White River Junction, Vermont
  • Fairmont, West Virginia

“It is wonderful to encourage community efforts to improve history education and create business strategies to share their heritage through the Preserve America Grants program,” said Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne. “The Preserve America initiative promotes the local efforts to help sustain and promote historic resources.”

Preserve America Communities applying for designation must demonstrate use of historic assets for economic development and community revitalization, and how they encourage people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs.

Benefits of designation include: White House recognition, eligibility to apply for Preserve America Grants, a Preserve America Community identifying sign, listing in a Web-based Preserve America Community directory, and enhanced community identity and pride. For more information on all aspects of the initiative, visit www.preserveamerica.gov.

“The Preserve America initiative has gone a long way toward demonstrating that sustainable historic preservation, through benefits such as heritage tourism, is a wise investment in the future,” said John L. Nau, III, chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, which partners with the Department of the Interior and other federal agencies to administer the initiative.


1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 803 Washington, DC 20004
Phone: 202-606-8503 Fax: 202-606-8647 www.PreserveAmerica.gov

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