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Home arrow News arrow ACHP Chairman Encourages Collaboration Between National Parks and Local Communities
ACHP Chairman Encourages Collaboration Between National Parks and Local Communities

In his remarks at the National Park Service's Intermountain, Southwest Cluster annual meeting, "Celebrating Partnerships in America's Public Places," held June 25, 2002, in Austin, Texas, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) chairman John L. Nau, III, encouraged National Park leaders to collaborate with local communities and State tourism offices to promote economic growth at all levels.

National Parks "need to be good neighbors to their gateway communities to ensure that those communities in turn remain vital, and that they wholeheartedly support the park and its mission," said Nau. "Parks should be aiding and working together with communities to make the parks a valued economic resource within the community, as well as a source of community pride."

Nau said that he sees historic properties as national economic assets in addition to their other values, and he identified heritage tourism as an economic resource that National Parks should tap into.

"Since historic locations exist, and people are interested in visiting them, it is an industry already in place, poised to provide an infusion for the economy while helping to educate a new generation on what it means to be an American," Nau said. He noted that many historic places are unknown to potential travelers and even local citizens, but with publicity about these historic places and careful planning, "visitors will come and increased revenues will ultimately flow to State, local, and Federal treasuries."

Another important resource for National Parks is volunteerism, Nau said. He cited "Park Day," held by the Civil War Preservation Trust, as an exemplary program that saved the National Park Service $176,000 in one day due to the efforts of more than 3,000 volunteers in State and Federal battlefield parks.

Nau said that he hoped National Park leaders would "expand the traditional reach of the parks by working in close partnership with those of us outside your boundaries. In so doing," Nau concluded, "we will ensure that these freeze frames of a specific time, experience, place and culture, which will never exist again, are not only preserved for a variety of lessons and uses, but are part of a creative pathway to new venues of economic stimulus and broader public support for what we are trying to accomplish."

President Bush appointed Nau, of Houston, Texas, as chairman of ACHP. Its membership includes four historic preservation experts, four citizen members, a Native Hawaiian, a governor, a mayor, and four Federal agency heads, all appointed by the President. The Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture, the Architect of the Capitol, the president of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, and the chairman of the National Trust for Historic Preservation round out the membership.

John M. Fowler serves as ACHP Executive Director. ACHP is headquartered in Washington, DC, with an office in Denver, Colorado.

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Posted July 10, 2002

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