Pre-preservation and Preservation Projects
Preservation projects must range from $75,000 to $750,000 in federal share, of which 20% may go toward pre-preservation costs such as architectural or engineering services. Grant applications that solely involve pre-preservation work must range from $15,000 to $75,000. Preservation projects fund physical preservation of a historic site to include historic districts, buildings, sites, structures, and objects. Projects must comply with Section 106, NEPA, and execute a preservation covenant/easement. All applications must include a National Register Eligibility Assessment worksheet. Properties must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places or designated a National Historic Landmark either individually or as part of a district whose significance is associated with African American Civil Rights. If the property is not listed for its association with African American Civil Rights, or not listed at all, the Eligibility Assessment form should provide information that demonstrates its association. Projects that are not listed on the National Register or are not listed in association with African American Civil Rights must include a nomination or amendment to an existing nomination as part of their project.
Application packages must be submitted using grants.gov in response to a notice of funding opportunity number under Assistance Listing (formerly CFDA) 15.904.
History and Collections Projects
History grant projects must range from $15,000 to $75,000 in federal share. Projects must be associated with the African American Civil Rights Movement. Successful applications will emphasize innovative strategies, and creative projects with measurable results, and include cross-generational engagement that promote and preserve the community’s civil rights resources. Projects should involve public-private partnerships and serve as models to communities nationwide.
The National Park Service's African American Civil Rights grant program or AACR will document interpret and preserve sites and stories that tell the full history of the African American struggle to gain equal rights from the transatlantic slave trade onward.
Congress appropriated $21,750,000 in fiscal year 2022 for this program. It will fund a broad range of projects including physical preservation and history projects. The legislative authority and other authority are listed below here.
Funding for this program is provided from the Historic Preservation Fund. Established in 1976 the fund or the HPF is the funding source for preservation assistance grants to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the five territories, and the three freely associated states of micronesia in addition to more than 200 tribes, more than 2,000 local governments and hundreds of non-profits. The source of the funding for the historic preservation fund is outer continental shelf oil and gas lease revenue. Not tax dollars.
The National Park Service is now accepting applications for the African American Civil Rights grant program. Applications must be submitted online through Grants.gov. The funding opportunities are listed below. Note that there are separate applications or notice of funding opportunity numbers for history it ends with 647 and for preservation the more construction and bricks and mortar projects that is ends with 648. Note that the deadline to apply this year is November 8th of 2022.
The primary difference between the two different applications and sources of funding under the program are that history projects are more the storytelling, the documentation, the research, interpretation and educational materials. This includes oral histories, conservation of collections, exhibits those types of educational activities. Preservation on the other hand involves architecture, construction, historic structure reports, plans and specifications. Think about physical preservation of structures and buildings.
Eligible applicants for the program are state, territory, county and local governments, and that does include Certified Local Governments, indian tribes that meet the federal US code definitions here, also native hawaiian organizations that meet that definition and non-profit organizations. It's important to note that you do need to have non-profit status or tax exempt status but a 501(c)(3) is not necessarily a requirement. You just need to be tax exempt.
For History projects you can apply the funding range is fifteen thousand to seventy five thousand is the maximum. For preservation projects we will award $75,000 minimum to a maximum of $750,000. Please note that we do also have a separate category for pre-preservation work only. That is also $15,000 to $75,000. If you are new to a project, if you are just working with a building for the first time and you really don't have a clear understanding yet of what that building needs, please consider applying simply to have an architect or an engineer assess the building in its conditions. Maybe you want to have plans and specifications drawn up or a historic structures report. So please note that you can apply for up to $75,000 to really kind of equip yourself with the information and understanding of what that building needs. Note that for all of our grants under the African American Civil Rights grant program matching funds or non-federal matching funds are not required but we do see it as a competitive factor if you are able to provide some matching funds, and provide evidence of local support for example.
What are the eligible resources for preservation when we're talking about bricks and mortar work and the physical preservation of of buildings and structures, the resources must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places or determined eligible for listing at the time that you apply. To get a determination of eligibility you would need to contact your State Historic Preservation Office because we do need a written determination from them that they have determined that the property is eligible, if it's not already listed on the national register. The property can be individually listed it can be contributing to a district or it could also be individual or part of the National Historic Landmark District. Please contact your State Historic Preservation Office to confirm that your property is either listed or eligible for listing or begin that process.
Not only does the property need to be listed in the National Register that nomination must address the property's role and significance in the African-American Civil Rights movement. If a current nomination does not include this association, the nomination must be amended during the grant period. Make sure that not only the properties listed but its associations with African American Civil Rights are highlighted in that nomination. Note that these are eligible costs that you can budget to the grant if you do need to amend the nomination or draft an entirely new one.
Grant funded activities include preservation work, such as we've talked about and mentioned before, bricks and mortar work the physical preservation of structures. Up to 20% of that award may be used for pre-preservation work. That could include material analysis such as mortar analysis, a historic structure report, archaeological survey, architectural drawings, and specifications, all of the things that you will need you know in order to do a good quality preservation work project.
Eligible projects under the history category, there are four choices. We ask you to determine which one is the best fit, it may kind of spill over into other areas but please choose the one that's most applicable. We have survey and planning research and documentation interpretation and education and collections conservation.
When developing the budget for your project make sure you keep in mind items and expenditures that cannot be funded through the Historic Preservation Fund. We've provided a list of some of those activities that cannot be supported such as new construction, acquisition. Just be sure that the focus is the existing building and what improvements, what preservation activities will help keep that property viable.
All work must meet the Secretary of the Interior Standards, and this means compliance with Section 106 and NEPA as well, and those are reviews that the Park Service will do prior to the start of work. Make sure that you have approvals in place and that you've submitted your plans and specifications to the Park Service so that we can review and approve them before any work starts on the project. We also ask that you competitively select your consultants, contractors, architects, whomever may be working on the project. The Park Service also does want to approve their qualifications and make sure they have relevant experience that will benefit your project.
A preservation agreement or covenant is required as part of the grant program. The duration or the time of that agreement is based on the amount of the federal award. You can see the schedule here based on the amount of the grant the minimum number of years that that agreement must be drafted for. If you take a look at our website we have more information on agreements and covenants and also a template that can be customized for your project or if you want to take a look at that and see what those standard provisions are and what types of requirements come with the covenant or easement. Funding is provided on a reimbursement basis meaning that you can draw down funds as needed through the US Treasury's ASAP system. Of course those expenditures need to be valid and approved and allowable by your Park Service grant manager. Note that we do have some latitude on the reimbursement structure of the grant. If you have an invoice for example that is for goods or services that have been rendered you can draw down the funds to pay that expense without having to incur the expense up front.
When applications are reviewed by our panel they are looking at four criteria. They are each worth 25 points. Be certain to look and read carefully through the Notice of Funding Opportunity. Make sure you're addressing all of the questions and points of information that are being asked under each of the criteria.
Registration in SAM.gov is a requirement for applications. Make sure that you are registered in SAM as soon as possible if you're interested in applying. In that registration process you will be issued a Unique Entity Identifier for your organization. That also is a requirement you need to have that Unique Entity Identifier or UEI which recently replaced the DUNS number.
All application materials must be included everything that's listed in the Notice of Funding Opportunity must be submitted. If your application is incomplete it will not be considered for funding because we need all of the components that are provided and listed in Grants.gov.
Here's a list of application materials that can be found in the Grants.gov posting for this funding opportunity. Be sure to fill out and sign all of the standard forms. For example you may feel like some of them simply don't apply to your project and that's fine. They may not just be sure to submit them anyway. Make sure you're reading through the different assurances and completing all of these attachments and worksheets that are so critical to a reviewer who will be assessing your application and project.
Applications again must be submitted through Grants.gov. The deadline is November 8th of 2022. You can send any and all questions to STLPG@nps.gov and that stands for State, Tribal, Local, Plans & Grants Division. Below that is the website address where you can learn more about the program and get a link to apply. Thank you for listening. We appreciate your interest in this program. Thank you.
- 15 minutes, 45 seconds
AACR program lead, Marla Collum, provides important information on the application process.
National Register Eligibility Assessment Worksheet
In order to be eligible for a grant under this program, the grant-assisted resource (property) must be listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic (NRHP) or designated a National Historic Landmark (NHL). The purpose of the worksheet is to document the current status of the resource. Is the resource:
- Listed in the NRHP or designated a NHL, and
- listed for its association with civil rights, or,
- Unlisted but determined eligible by the cognizant state/tribal historic preservation office for listing in the NRHP or designation as a NHL for its association with civil rights?
Resources which are not presently listed in the NRHP or designated a NHL for their association with civil rights must include a letter of opinion from the cognizant state/tribal historic preservation office. We will not be making a determination of eligibility for listing in the NRHP on the state/tribal historic preservation office's behalf.
The table below indicates the information the worksheet should address depending on the status of the resource.
|If the property (resource) is…||then the worksheet should address…|
|individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places or as a National Historic Landmark for its association with civil rights||how the individual resource is significant|
|a contributing resource to a National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmark district for its association with civil rights||how the resource within the district is significant|
|individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places or as a National Historic Landmark but not for its association with civil rights||how the individual resource is significant for its association with civil rights|
|a contributing resource to a National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmark district but not for its association with civil rights||how the resource within the district is significant for its association with civil rights|
|not yet individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places or as a National Historic Landmark for its association with civil rights||how the individual resource is significant for its association with civil rights; the project budget must also include the cost of completing a nomination|
|not yet listed a contributing resource to a National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmark district for its association with civil rights||how the resource within the district is significant for its association with civil rights; the project budget must also include the cost of completing a nomination|
African American Civil Rights Grants and the African American Civil Rights Network
Although these two programs have similar names, they are not the same thing. The grants program, administered by the State, Tribal, Local, Plans & Grants Division, awards funding for projects related to the preservation and documentation of sites related to African Americans and civil rights. The network program, administered by the Park History program, is an honorary designation program designed to highlight the places and interpretive programs that illustrate the people, places, and events associated with the Afircan American civil rights movement.
Projects that receive an African American Civil Rights grant may be eligible to apply for inclusion in the African American Civil Rights Network. If you are interested in learning more about the African American Civil Rights Network and how to apply to be included, follow the links below.
Last updated: September 29, 2023