This post is a quick PSA.
It seems that funding is being cut everywhere you look in the current economic climate. However, Preservation doesn’t get much funding to begin with, and it seems even more of our funding is now in jeopardy. The Transportation Enhancements Program may be on the chopping block and we Preservationists and Preservation enthusiasts need to speak up to save it! This program has helped to preserve historic roads and bridges, to enhance historic downtown streetscapes, to maintain scenic and historic parkways and byways, and to rehabilitate and revitalize historic transportation resources that would have otherwise been abandoned or demolished. It is the single largest funding source for historic preservation in the country, and has helped to save countless resources, from historic railroad stations and freight sheds, to stone arch bridges, to the acquisition of scenic easements to preserve our historic battlefields. Examples of the great things that Transportation Enhancement funding has accomplished can be found at the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse
For more information and a handy link to email your Senator, please visit this Preservation Nation Blog.
With so few jobs in our relatively small field, and with museums and historic interest groups reeling from the recent loss of funding to programs like Save America’s Treasures, the Preservation field desperately needs to save what little Federal funding remains, to keep professionals at work. In a field that has been working over the past 40-plus years to gain the trust and assistance of state and local officials and the general public, working to ensure the preservation of our national, regional and local identity, and striving to be seen as more than the group of crazed anti-progress zealots often referred to as the “hysterical society”, we need all of the professional guidance and funding available. Don’t get me wrong, volunteers are wonderful people and can often be the difference between a Preservation project succeeding or languishing indefinitely, but Preservation in this country can’t be accomplished by volunteers alone, and the sort of funding that keeps people in our field working is disappearing rapidly!
So, please get in touch with your Senator and let them know that the Transportation Enhancement Program is one that our country needs!