The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training had previously identified a potential need for education of local public officials, but did not know how the State Historic Preservation Offices educated local public officials about historic preservation. There was an excellent response to the survey. Every State Historic Preservation Office was contacted by telephone and 70% of the U. S. states and territories responded to the written questionnaire.
The State Historic Preservation Offices appear to be interested in education for local public officials. They view their role in education of local public officials as a participant with local preservation commissions and statewide non-profit preservation organizations. The most important topics to include in introductory education for local public officials are the economic and community benefits of historic preservation. In-person contact is important in providing education to local public officials. Funding was the most desirable form of assistance for most SHPOs, but training for SHPO and local government staff in how to educate local public officials was also very desirable. A training curriculum for preservation education of local public officials and scholarships for local public officials to attend introductory preservation education activities also received high ranking. My recommendation to the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training is to conduct or sponsor a series of regional preservation workshops that would
- Reach a diverse group of community leaders.
- Raise awareness of the impact historic preservation can have on a community’s character (sense of place) and local economy.
- Create understanding and appreciation of the ways in which local historic preservation programs influence the future of communities.
- Equip participants with the knowledge and techniques to communicate the value of historic preservation in their communities.
- Establish a network of contacts for participants to use in their on-going efforts to influence local historic preservation efforts.