Seeking Oregon Heritage All-Stars!
We’re looking for the following kind of town somewhere in Oregon. Is it near you? It might look like this:
- The local library has an exhibit about the historic cemetery in town.
- The cemetery has researched with the local genealogical society for individual stories for their living history program.
- The local museum offered research assistance for the period clothing for the cemetery event.
- Long time citizens have entrusted cherished family photos to the museum, that cares for them and allows public access to them.
- The City Historic Landmark Commission provided advice and samples for the design committee of the local Main Street program.
- The museum provided historic images of significant historic properties to the city.
- The Historic Landmark Commission and the museum coordinate the historic resources scavenger hunt with the elementary school.
- The library created a walking tour of designated heritage trees, with references to plant and tree books.
- And so on…
This town isn’t a dream. Many Oregon communities embrace and promote their heritage resources. A new Oregon Heritage All-Star Communities program will soon recognize these places for safeguarding important elements of the past, advancing both “quality of life” and economic objectives, and enhancing their unique community character.
“We hope the program will raise public awareness about communities that already recognize the value of local heritage, encourage collaboration among heritage organizations and projects, and increase community access to resources,” says Roger Roper, the Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer.
The Heritage All-Star Community program has three main goals: educate communities about the spectrum of cultural heritage activities; encourage communities to expand, strengthen and coordinate their cultural heritage activities; and recognize the communities that reach an exemplary level of participation.
In order to qualify as a Heritage All-Star Community, the community must meet at least 15 of 20 criteria. Selected communities will receive a certificate, signage, a designation on the Travel Oregon website, a logo, and technical support, workshops and tools. Communities that meet at least 10 of the criteria may also submit an application of interest to obtain additional support in achieving additional criteria to qualify. Oregon Heritage offers technical and grants resources for all kinds of heritage projects, if your community would like to work on any of these criteria, please visit our website to learn more.
Kuri Gill is the Grants and Outreach Coordinator for Oregon Heritage.