Why is Local Preservation Important?
Local preservation is the most powerful expression of a community’s history—a history that is felt, seen, and heard every day by its citizens and visitors. Preservation efforts help define the community’s identity and the way that people live in the community. Preservation ensures that the special places that tell the stories of a community’s past and present are used, revitalized, and carefully tended for the future. Well-planned and implemented local preservation work results in economic, social, and environmental benefits that can transform communities into more prosperous, healthier places to live, work, and grow.
| NPS & Your Community: What is NPS role in assisting Local Preservation?
NPS provides information about preservation planning, heritage tourism development, training for local preservation commissions, historic resource surveys and technologies, documenting and designating local resources, and preservation laws, regulations, and standards.
The Historic Preservation Planning Program
How does local historic preservation happen? It all starts by identifying existing historic resources and determining how those resources relate to current community values and needs. Understanding both is critical to improving the condition of historic places and increasing livability within a community. The Historic Preservation Planning Program provides guidance about strategies that protect irreplaceable places using local planning tools—such as zoning, design review, GIS, and public engagement techniques—and best practices in resource stewardship.
The Certified Local Government Program: Connecting Federal, State, & Local Efforts
Currently there are 1,867 municipalities across the nation that are Certified Local Governments (CLGs), communities recognized by the NPSfor their commitment to historic preservation. This designation makes communities eligible for federal funding and focused assistance from their State Historic Preservation Office.
The National Park Service supports community preservation efforts through a variety of outreach programs.Our sister program Technical Preservation Services has a number of how-to guides and how preservation is part of a sustainability strategy. In addition to working with local officials, NPS also networks with the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the National Main Street Center to assist communities with historic preservation. To learn more about our partners and local preservation programs follow the link on the right-hand side.