The next quarterly deadlines for submitting applications to the Preserve America Stewards program are December 1, 2009, and March 1, 2010. Preserve America Stewards is a federal program which recognizes organizations and agencies that successfully use volunteers to help care for our historic properties. Preserve America Stewards receive a designation letter and certificate of recognition signed by First Lady Michelle Obama.
To date, programs have been recognized for a range of volunteer efforts. Some designated organizations address preservation and interpretation of historic buildings, such as the Oberlin Heritage Center in Ohio and Cornerstones Community Partnerships, which works to preserve historic adobe buildings of the Southwest. Several Preserve America Stewards have been recognized for their volunteer archaeological site monitoring, including New Mexico SiteWatch and Bateaux Below, Inc., which works to preserve shipwrecks in New York’s Lake George. The United States Lighthouse Society has been designated for its preservation of the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, and the Historic Preservation Commission of South Bend and St. Joseph County, Indiana, has been recognized for its South Bend Historic City Cemetery Project.
To be designated, applicants must demonstrate that their programs:
- provide volunteers with opportunities to contribute in direct and tangible ways to the preservation, protection, and promotion of historic properties;
- address an otherwise unfilled need in heritage preservation through the use of volunteer efforts; and
- demonstrate innovative and creative use of volunteer assistance in areas such as youth involvement, volunteer training, public education, and public/private partnerships.
Non-profit organizations, government entities (federal, state, local, or tribal), and businesses are eligible to seek designation for their programs.
Preserve America Stewards is administered by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the Department of the Interior. An application form and further information is available at http://www.preserveamerica.gov/.
Druscilla J. Null
Senior Program Analyst
Office of Preservation Initiatives
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation