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

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 that includes 31 projects in 17 states and one tribe totaling nearly $3 million.  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 serves 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, just over $20 million in Preserve America Grants have 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 the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation 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 www.PreserveAmerica.gov.

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.

Updated June 10, 2009