Officials in counties across Arkansas have declared the month of May as Historic Preservation Month, according to Arkansas Historic Preservation Director Frances McSwain.
"The Theme of Historic Preservation Month 2009 is 'This Place Matters,'" McSwain said. "We hope all of the people of Arkansas will take time to reflect on the importance of their local historic sites, especially those listed on the National Register of Historic Places."
McSwain said that historic preservation is a effective tool for managing growth, revitalizing neighborhoods, fostering local pride and maintaining community character while enhancing livability. Historic preservation is relevant for communities across the nation, both urban and rural, and for Americans of all ages, walks of life and ethnic backgrounds.
"It is important to celebrate the role of history in our lives and the contributions made by dedicated individuals in helping to preserve the tangible aspects of the heritage that has shaped us as a people," McSwain said.
There are many activities planned across the state for National Historic Preservation Month that will complement projects organized for Arkansas Heritage Month, also observed in May and sponsored by the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Arkansas Heritage Month celebrates various aspects of Arkansas' natural, cultural and historical legacy. This year's theme is "Only in Arkansas: Exploring Our Natural Heritage."
Information on historic preservation in Arkansas can be obtained by writing the AHPP at 1500 Tower Building, 323 Center St., Little Rock, AR 72201; by phone at 501-324-9880; e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit the AHPP's Internet Web site located at www.arkansaspreservation.org.
Locally, Fulton County has seven sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places and Izard County has 15 sites. In addition, the spillway at the Mammoth Spring State Park has been nominated for this honor.
The community is invited to set aside a day during May to drive by and see these local historical sites.