The Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation held its annual conference in Natchitoches on June 26-27, 2014. The year marks the Tri-Centennial of the City of Natchitoches and a return of the conference into the city. The conference opened with a welcome address from the honorable Jay Dardenne, Lt. Governor of the state. He fascinated the audience with his knowledge of Louisiana history. A series of concurrent sessions with themes like “how to save endangered historic properties” and “window restoration” followed the opening remarks. Stephanie Meeks, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was among the distinguished speakers.
A tribute to former Senator J. Bennett Johnston was held the evening before the meeting at the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway Grand Ecore Visitor Center. Johnston was fundamental in the establishment of many ventures, including the development of NCPTT, the Cane River Creole National Historical Park and the Cane River National heritage area, among others.
NCPTT was well-represented at the meeting by presentations and a tour of its research facility. Debbie Detrich Smith offered the meeting participants a lecture on the basics of historic landscape maintenance. Her presentation focused on how to protect, preserve, and manage vegetation in historic landscapes. Sarah Marie Jackson discussed how sustainability and historic buildings work together. She offered advice for making historic homes more energy efficient. An NCPTT tour focused on the mission of the National Center and showed participants the practical side of preservation technology.