Prescott, Ariz. today was honored when Mrs. Laura Bush designated it among the nation's newest Preserve America communities.
"Preserve America communities demonstrate that they are committed to preserving America's heritage while ensuring a future filled with opportunities for learning and enjoyment," Mrs. Bush said. "This new community designation program, combined with the Preserve America Presidential Awards and federal support, provides strong incentives for continued preservation of our cultural and natural heritage resources. I commend you for your commitment to preserving an important part of our nation's historic past for visitors, neighbors, and, most importantly, for children."
Mayor Rowle P. Simmons received a certificate of designation signed by Mrs. Bush from Mark Rey, Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, that Prescott is now a Preserve America Community. The Preserve America initiative is a new White House effort to encourage and support community efforts for the preservation and enjoyment of America's priceless cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the initiative include: a greater shared knowledge about the nation's past; strengthened regional identities and local pride; increased local participation in preserving the country's cultural and natural heritage assets; and, support for the economic vitality of our communities.
Communities designated through the program receive national recognition for their efforts. Other benefits include appropriate use of the Preserve America logo on signs and promotional materials; notification to media, state tourism offices, and visitor bureaus; and listing on a web-based directory to showcase preservation efforts and highlight heritage tourism destinations. The Bush Administration's fiscal year 2005 budget contains a request for $10 million in grant funds for which communities meeting the Preserve America criteria will be eligible to apply. These matching fund grants of $50,000 to $250,000 would go on a competitive basis to projects that preserve and use important historic resources for promotion of heritage tourism and other economic revitalization projects.
"The Prescott National Forest, which is a neighbor to Prescott and includes recreational areas, historic cabins and archaeological sites, has been delighted to assist the community in its commitment in sustainable preservation," said Rey, who oversees the Forest Service. "Prescott has shown that it is a national leader in historic preservation and has created a powerful positive example for others."
USDA's Forest Service partners with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Department of the Interior, and Department of Commerce to administer the Preserve America Community program on behalf of the Office of the First Lady. For more information and updates on the initiative, please visit http://www.PreserveAmerica.gov.