Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller
Smethport was honored recently with a letter from Mrs. Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, designating the Borough as one of the nation’s newest ‘Preserve America’ Communities.
“President Obama and I want to congratulate all of the Preserve America Communities and thank them for their commitment to protecting and strengthening America’s cultural and natural heritage,” Mrs. Obama said.
Mayor Ross Porter received the letter and will receive a certificate of designation signed by First Lady Michelle Obama announcing that Smethport is now a Preserve America Community. Communities designated through the program receive national recognition for their accomplishments in preserving our special places and telling the nation’s story.
Benefits include use of the Preserve America logo on educational and promotional materials; a community sign; listing in a Web-based directory that showcases Smethport’s preservation efforts and heritage tourism destinations; and other support.
Many Preserve America Communities are featured in “Discover Our Shared Heritage” National Register Travel Itineraries, as well as in the “Teaching With Historic Places” curricular materials created by the National Park Service.
The Preserve America program became an authorized part of the national historic preservation program when President Barack Obama signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 on March 30, 2009. More than 850 Preserve America Communities have been designated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories, including historic neighborhoods within large cities and tribal communities.
The Preserve America program is a federal effort to encourage and support community efforts to preserve and enjoy 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.
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation administers the Preserve America program with the Department of the Interior, in cooperation with the White House and 10 other federal agencies. For more information visit www.achp.gov and www.preserveamerica.gov.