Created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1971, National Preservation Week was intended to instill community pride by celebrating cultural heritage preservation events across the country.
Over 30 years later, it had accomplished its original goal, and then some! The National Trust decided a week was just not long enough to include all of the grassroots preservation efforts in the growing celebration.
In a statement, National Trust President Richard Moe said, “Preservation Week has served as a showcase for local communities to honor their past and help build their future for more than three decades. Due to its overwhelming popularity, the National Trust has decided to extend Preservation Week into Preservation Month to provide an even larger opportunity to celebrate the diverse and unique heritage of our country’s cities and states. We expect that Preservation Month, in May, will help bring historic preservation to the forefront of Americans’ daily lives by emphasizing the vital importance of protecting our nation’s history.”
So how can you be a part of it all?
There are lots of ways you can enjoy the good works of the preservationist movement, and even join the fight yourself. Take a look at this list to see how you can participate!
* Visit your local museum or historic house
* Check the National Register of Historic Places and see what gems are in your own community
* Plan a trip to your local cemetery and explore the beautiful architecture
* Photograph some historic sites in your neighborhood
* Explore your own family history
* Shop at stores on your town’s “Main Street”
* Book your next vacation at a member of Historic Hotels of America
* Locate the closest National Historic Landmark and go there
* Take a drive on a historic road
* Find out what restaurants in your area have been in business the longest, then go find out why they have stood the test of time!
* Draw or paint a landscape
* Write a poem about your town's contributions to history
* Make a donation of time or money to save an endangered historic site
* Find out more about the history of your own house
* Take a walk on a nature trail
* Go to the library and learn more about your town’s history
* Write a letter to your Congressman about how important preservation is to you
* Join the National Trust for Historic Preservation!