Preserve America Community
Dahlonega was recently honored when First Lady Laura Bush, Honorary Chair of the Preserve America initiative, designated it as one of the nation’s newest Preserve America Communities.
“Preserve America Communities demonstrate that they are committed to preserving America’s heritage while ensuring a future filled with opportunities for learning and enjoyment,” Mrs. Bush said. “This community designation program, combined with the Preserve America Grant Program, Preserve America Presidential Awards, and other 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.”
Dahlonega Mayor Gary McCullough recently received the award letter and a certificate of designation signed by Mrs. Bush announcing Dahlonega is now a Preserve America Community. Communities designated through the program receive national recognition for their efforts. Benefits include the right to use the Preserve America logo on signs and promotional materials; eligibility for Preserve America Grants; notification to state tourism offices; and listing in a Web-based directory that showcases Dahlonega’s preservation efforts and heritage tourism destinations. Preserve America Communities are also featured in National Register Travel Itineraries and in “Teaching With Historic Places” curricular materials created by the National Park Service.
In 2006, Preserve America Grants totaling nearly $5 million were awarded to 68 projects around the country. In 2007, $4.9 million was awarded to 72 projects. In 2008, nearly $7.5 million will be awarded. Grants of $20,000 to $250,000 are awarded on a competitive, matching fund basis to help communities develop sustainable management strategies and sound business practices for the continued preservation and use of their heritage assets. The grants support research, planning, marketing, interpretation, and training efforts.
The Preserve America initiative is an Administration effort to encourage and support community efforts to preserve and enjoy America’s priceless cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the 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.
“Sustainable historic preservation is a wise investment in the future, not a cost for maintaining the past. Communities and the nation receive significant economic, educational, and cultural benefits, including heritage tourism, in return for their preservation efforts,” said John L. Nau, III, chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, which administers Preserve America programs for the White House in cooperation with the Department of the Interior.
The White House is working with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and Transportation, the General Services Administration, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities to implement Preserve America. For more information about the initiative and its programs, visit www.preserveamerica.gov.