History Colorado Awards More Than $150,000 to Local Preservation Projects



DENVER — March 7, 2023— History Colorado’s Certified Local Government (CLG) program has awarded $157,320 for historic preservation projects by county and municipal governments. The projects funded by this round of grants include preservation planning, surveys, and education/outreach activities. The seven projects funded in this grant round will begin in the summer of 2023 and wrap up by December 31, 2024.

The CLG program is part of the State Historic Preservation Office and is one of the many ways that History Colorado invests in the prosperity of rural communities and preserves the rich history of the Centennial State.

Currently 68 of Colorado’s 127 local governments have been certified by the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service as CLGs. This distinction makes them eligible for grants and shows they participate in the national preservation program while maintaining standards consistent with federal archaeology and historic preservation requirements.

“Engagement, education and survey projects like the ones being funded in this round of grants are the basis of community preservation,” said Patrick Eidman, Chief Preservation Officer and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer. “These foundational projects are opportunities for communities to become aware of their historic resources and how to properly protect and maintain them so they can engage in deeper preservation work”

Highlighted Projects Include:

Otero County | La Junta, CO

Otero County was awarded $14,169 for the creation of a placed-based workbook and teacher resource manual for 3rd grade classes. These resources are the culmination of ongoing survey and context studies which have raised awareness of historic resources in the county and will align with state education standards while incorporating local history and historic preservation concepts.

These curriculum resources will focus on the multicultural history of Colorado’s Eastern Plains with some highlights including: expanded education on the African American homesteading community known as The Dry; history of first and second generation Japanese American families on the Eastern Plains, historic Hispano settlement of Otero County, and medical facilities established by Mennonites in southeast Colorado.

Otero County hopes this will help students in public schools connect with distant time periods in a more personal way by showing direct local connections which demonstrate the effects of national and international events on their communities.

“By bringing social studies and historic preservation ‘home’ to places in the communities where children live, we can help them understand why these places matter,” said Rebecca Goodwin, preservation officer for Otero County. “This is particularly important in areas like Otero County where many students do not have the opportunity to travel to historic sites in other areas.”

In addition to educating on the historic resources within Otero County, the curriculum will also highlight the importance of these resources to rural communities.

“The goal of the project is to encourage students to focus on places they are familiar with in order to not only study social studies/history, but also recognize the importance of protecting archaeological sites as part of preservation education,” said Goodwin.

Since the initiation of the program in 1985, History Colorado has certified 68 local governments and awarded more than $4 million to counties and municipalities in Colorado. In 2000, History Colorado began providing matching funds for CLG grants through the State Historical Fund which removed the barrier of matching funding for governments applying for grants.

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