• Park Cultural Landscapes


Preservation is the act of sustaining something, by keeping it intact, free from harm and safe from deterioration. For the National Park Service (NPS), historic preservation is the act of protecting and sustaining cultural resources in perpetuity, through the methods of research, planning and stewardship.

San Antonio Missions
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. NPS Photo.

Cultural resources are the tangible items of historic or cultural significance, including cultural landscapes, buildings, structures, and objects, but also the intangible items, such as traditional knowledge, practices, and life-ways.

Cultural landscapes have been recognized by the NPS as cultural resources since 1983, and our responsibilities for their preservation are equal to other resources, regardless of the landscape type or level of significance.

This website displays the NPS approach to the preservation of cultural landscapes, through the processes of “research,” “planning,” and “stewardship.” Examples from the national parks are provided to illustrate these processes. Check out the “references” for more detailed information on preservation topics.

You can ask preservation questions or share comments with the staff of the Park Cultural Landscapes Program on our Facebook page.