10 Things We’re Thankful for from 2014
Publicly Passionate Heritage Fans
We like those ardent Oregon heritage fans that tell the public how important it is to support heritage efforts. There are many who carry out this work, and we can’t list them all. But notable fans in 2014 included Restore Oregon and its efforts to create a historic preservation tax credit, the more than 8,500 donors to the Oregon Cultural Trust, and the 7,389 Crook County residents (83 percent of the electors) who voted to continue using part of their county property tax payments for support of the Bowman Museum in Prineville.
Office of Emergency Management
You have to think ahead to preserve our history. We are thankful for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management for helping our museums, historic sites and archives look ahead and prepare for potential disasters. Big thanks go to all of the organizations that have sought OEM’s advice in the last year or participated in its activities. You can take the first step toward protecting your organization’s collection by creating a Pocket Response Plan (PReP). Learn more about PReP phone trees here
Like any family, Oregon has its annual traditions. The most special of these yearly events, gatherings and parties can be designated as Oregon Heritage Traditions. The Oregon Heritage Tradition designation recognizes events throughout the state that are over 50 years old and represent what it means to be an Oregonian. This year several events joined the ranks of the Oregon Heritage Tradition. They are: The Klamath basin Potato Festival, the Scandinavian Festival, The Wasco County Fair and Rodeo, the Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest, the Clackamas County Fair and Bend Fourth of July Pet Parade. Make an Oregon Heritage Tradition your family tradition by attending or participating in one of these events next year
The most important work in preservation happens at the local level. Certified Local Governments are those cities and counties in Oregon that have demonstrated a commitment to preservation by passing an ordinance and assigning a government commission on historic preservation. Best of all it makes them eligible for grants to do historic preservation projects or public outreach about heritage in their communities. In 2013 we welcomed Aurora, Pendleton and Newberg into the program; three of Oregon’s most historic towns.
Performing Main Street Communities
Our Performing Main Streets communities are working hard to strengthen, preserve and revitalize their historic downtown commercial districts. They have shown dedication and commitment to maintaining these significant places as vibrant community centers and their work will ensure that Oregon’s downtowns are active for generations to come. Kudos to our Main Oregon’s main street organizations in.
Oregon Heritage All-Stars are those communities that have made a special effort to build an environment where their heritage shines. These communities meet at least 15 of Oregon Heritage’s 20 criteria, which touch on all aspects of our shared heritage. We are thankful to welcome new Heritage All-Stars; Albany, Cottage Grove, Oregon City, Roseburg and Salem in 2014.
One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is the chance to get together with friends and family and reconnect. For those working with Oregon’s Heritage and developing its local communities this opportunity comes more than once a year. The Oregon Heritage Conference and the Oregon Main Street Conference each provide a chance for volunteers and professionals from across the state to meet, reconnect and learn from one another. Special thanks go out to the McMinnville Downtown Associations and Albany Downtown Association for hosting the 2014 conferences. This year the Heritage Conference will be held in Coos Bay from April 22-24.
We are always looking for opportunities to say “thank you” to the volunteers that make up our MentorCorps. In 2014 this group of expert mentors has assisted dozens of museums and archives across the state with the maintenance and care of their collections. If you have a publicly accessible collection and would like free guidance in its care and protection let us know! We may be able to assign you free assistance from a mentor.
Oregon Century Farms and Ranches
Take a moment this week in between bites of turkey to consider the work that went into each of the morsels on your table. It takes people to cultivate our food and in some cases, families have been perfecting that process for generations. The Oregon Century Farms and Ranches program is a way of honoring that legacy and saying thanks for more than 100 years of keeping us fed and perpetuating the state’s agricultural heritage.
Developing Deeper Partnerships
Oregon Heritage has supported and worked with Oregon Black Pioneers for years. This past year we joined together in a deeper collaboration for both organizations. We are engaging the public to help us find properties related to African Americans in Oregon. The partnership was a natural fit. Our goal is to document and make available on the Oregon Historic Sites Database information about as many properties as possible from around the state. In the long run, we hope to nominate several properties to the National Register of Historic Places. If you know of a property associated with African Americans, as recently as 1984, please submit any information you have to the data collection website. www.makeoregonhistory.org
We have a lot to be thankful for this holiday. What are you thankful for?