In case you haven’t heard, May is National Preservation Month, a celebration led every year by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This year’s theme is, “New Age of Preservation: Embark, Inspire, Engage,” and it’s the perfect opportunity to show your community a little local love.
Preservation Month celebrates the historic parts of your community that make up its unique identity. Whether it’s a Civil War battlefield or a generations-old general store, each community has special landmarks that attract residents and visitors alike.
Preserving these landmarks helps sustain the entire community. Historic Main Streets support local businesses that return money to the local economy and create local jobs, while parks, monuments and other historic sites attract tourists, whose dollars also help sustain the local economy.
Beyond the economic benefits, preserving local landmarks makes the community a more pleasant place to live and work. From the charming storefronts on Main Street to the landscaped gardens of historic parks, these landmarks provide a stark contrast to the urban infrastructure and suburban sprawl that typically fill our communities. They set the tone for a simpler, more peaceful way of life, and they are better for the natural environment.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation suggests all kinds of unique and exciting ideas to help small business owners get involved in Preservation Month. Host an open house at your historic general store and teach customers about the legacy behind your shop. Hold a dinner and lecture series in the ballroom of your historic inn. Team up with other local storeowners downtown to host a walking tour of your city’s Main Street and historic district. If you’re a resident, be on the lookout for events like these in your community or reach out to local nonprofits and historical societies to launch your own event. The possibilities are seemingly endless, and so is the positive impact that you’ll have on the community.
To find out more about National Preservation Month, visit the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s website at www.preservationnation.org. Throughout the month of May, share your preservation experiences on social media with #presmonth.