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National Parks and Preserve America

Safeguarding America’s Heritage

Mrs. Bush Leads National Efforts For Historical Preservation

Mrs. Bush is committed to the preservation of our Nation’s priceless cultural artifacts, historic structures and sites for the benefit of future generations.  She has focused efforts on creating a comprehensive approach to preservation, which offers lessons to future generations of citizens, scholars, and artists about our past and the strength of our nation.

  • On July 12, 2007, Mrs. Bush announced that President Bush proposed legislation to Congress for the Preserve America and Save America's Treasures Act.  If passed by Congress, the Act will help ensure the government's continued ability to protect America's historic places, objects, and collections in the years to come.   

The Preserve America Initiative Is Strengthening Regional and Local Efforts To Preserve Our Nation’s Heritage

Established by Executive Order on March 3, 2003, the Preserve America initiative aims to establish a greater shared knowledge of our Nation's past, strengthen regional identities and local pride, increase local participation in preserving the country's cultural and natural heritage assets, and support the economic vitality of our communities. 

Major components of the Preserve America initiative include:

  • Preserve America Grants, which provide assistance for local communities to develop sustainable resource management strategies and sound business practices for the continued preservation and use of historic resources.  More than 227 Preserve America Grants have been awarded in 47 states, totaling over $17 million to date.

  • Four Preserve America Presidential Awards given annually to organizations, businesses, and government entities that demonstrate exemplary accomplishments in the sustainable use and preservation of cultural or natural heritage assets and the integration of these assets into contemporary community life.

  • Designation of Preserve America Communities, which recognizes communities that protect and celebrate their heritage, use historic assets for economic development and community revitalization, and encourage people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs.  Mrs. Bush has designated 664 communities, including 16 neighborhoods, as Preserve America Communities in all 50 states and one U.S. territory.

  • Preserve America History Teacher of the Year Award, presented annually by Mrs. Bush to honor excellence in history teaching.  Mrs. Bush has presented awards to five history teachers, recognizing them for their enthusiasm and inspiration.

Mrs. Bush Is Also Helping Protect Our National Treasures That Document United States History and Culture

As Chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Mrs. Bush also serves as Honorary Chair for Save America’s Treasures.  Save America’s Treasures is a national effort dedicated to rescuing, preserving and protecting America’s threatened cultural treasures, including historic structures, collections, works of art, maps and journals that document the history and culture of the United States.

  • Save America’s Treasures has been critical to the survival of the Star-Spangled Banner; the papers of the Founding Fathers; Civil Rights landmarks like the Rosa Parks bus; the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, and the only surviving model of the World Trade Center.


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Photo Essays
Mrs. Laura Bush and Mesa Verde National Park Superintendent Larry Wiese share a laugh, Thursday, May 23, 2006, during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Mesa Verde and the Antiquities Act in Mesa Verde, Colorado. Also pictured are members of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. White House photo by Shealah Craighead. National Parks and Preserve America Photo Essay

Related Links
Centennial Parks Initiative
Preserve America
Save America's Treasures
Junior Rangers

Click Here to visit the Preserve America Web Site
Preserve America is administered by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)

Click here to visit the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
ACHP is an independent federal agency

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Holiday in the National Parks