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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Fifteen Preserve America Communities Designated in Texas

May 7, 2004, Fort Worth, Texas—Fifteen Texas cities, towns, and counties were named the Nation's newest Preserve America Communities today during the Texas Historical Commission (THC) Annual Texas Historic Preservation Conference.

Preserve America is a White House initiative that encourages and supports community efforts for the preservation and enjoyment of our priceless cultural and natural heritage. It is administered by the Office of the First Lady in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Housing and Urban Development.

"Preserve America communities demonstrate that they are committed to preserving America's heritage while ensuring a future filled with opportunities for learning and enjoyment," said Mrs. Laura Bush. "This new community designation program, combined with the Preserve America Presidential Awards and Federal support, provides strong incentives for continued preservation of our cultural and natural heritage resources.

"I commend you for your commitment to preserving an important part of our Nation's historic past for visitors, neighbors, and, most importantly, for children."

The designation certificates, signed by Mrs. Bush, were presented by Dr. David A. Sampson, Assistant Secretary for Economic Development, U.S. Department of Commerce; Mrs. Anita Perry, First Lady of Texas; and Mr. John L. Nau, III, Chairman of both the ACHP and THC.

Assistant Secretary Sampson said, "On behalf of President Bush, I am pleased to represent the Department of Commerce and Federal Government's commitment to Preserve America. Heritage preservation is important from educational, cultural, and economic perspectives.

"The Department of Commerce is pleased to support Preserve America initiatives that utilize heritage preservation as an economic driver, providing a link to our past and prosperity for our future."

Texas now has 16 Preserve America communities, including Castroville. Castroville was one of the first eight communities designated under the Preserve America initiative on January 15, 2004. Officials from the 15 communities being designated today were on hand to receive the designations. The 15 newest Preserve America communities are:

Atlanta Cuero Denton Electra
Granbury Hearne Kerrville Marshall

Milam County

Nacogdoches Odessa
Pharr Victoria County Waxahachie

[read more about the
Texas Preserve America Communities]

"From the time Texans are born, they are surrounded by remarkable stories and sites of our State's rich history," Mrs. Perry said. "Partnering with Preserve America will accentuate communities' existing charm and carry on the tradition of State pride that makes Texas such an extraordinary place to live and visit.

"This is an excellent opportunity not only to preserve the past, but also promote new experiences among visitors and new appreciation among all."

ACHP/THC Chairman Nau noted, "There are significant economic, educational, and cultural benefits that historic preservation, through efforts such as heritage tourism, bring to a community. Sustainable preservation is not a cost for maintaining the past; it is an investment in building the future.

"You have shown that your communities and your State are national leaders in this trend, and have created a powerful positive example for others."

The goals of the Preserve America initiative include a greater shared knowledge about the Nation's past; strengthened regional identities and local pride; increased local participation in preserving the country's cultural and natural heritage assets; and support for the economic vitality of our communities.

Updated November 23, 2004

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