HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) has released the official statewide historic preservation plan for 2012 through 2017.
Entitled “Building Better Communities: The Preservation of Place in Pennsylvania,” the comprehensive plan defines the role of historic preservation in revitalizing Pennsylvania communities.
Statewide preservation planning is one of the responsibilities required of the commonwealth’s State Historic Preservation Office under the National Historic Preservation Act and the Pennsylvania History Code. This effort is overseen by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, which reviews and approves all state preservation plans.
This plan represents more than two years of public input that included a Community Preservation Values Survey, eight regional public forums, five partner workshops facilitated by PHMC staff across the state and additional participation by PHMC’s state agency partners.
“We found that Pennsylvanians as whole recognize that development is inevitable but they also recognize that growth and progress do not need to result in the destruction of the natural and built assets that shape Pennsylvania,” said PHMC Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer James M. Vaughan. “Our mountains, rivers, forests , farms, cities and boroughs, historic sites and our diverse ethnic and religious heritage all need to be preserved.”
The “Building Better Communities” plan lays out a five-year framework for action and collaboration. The overall goal of the plan is to build stronger communities by using cultural and historic resources in ways that add value to citizens’ lives today and in the future. The link between historic and natural resources is recognized and supported by the plan. Preservation is viewed as a concept that encompasses entire landscapes, including open spaces, historic buildings and structures, farmlands, viewsheds and the distinct characteristics found in communities of all sizes.
The plan includes strategies for increasing preservation planning at the local level, expanding and strengthening new and existing partnerships, encouraging advocacy, identifying and recruiting new constituents and managing an inclusive and comprehensive statewide historic preservation program.
A complete version of “Building Better Communities: The Preservation of Place in Pennsylvania” is available online atwww.phmc.state.pa.us.