17 December 2014

The NextGen of Preservationists ...

We talk about preservation a lot!  It’s so critical to ensuring that future generations will have access to the same documents, historic buildings, and more, as we do.

Part of what ensures that is something like the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s HOPE (Hands-On Preservation Experience) Crew program. 

At each local project, preservation craftspeople will mentor and oversee the work of HOPE Crew members, and provide instruction on a range of preservation bricks-and-mortar techniques. The skills that crew members acquire as part of the program provides them with competitive skills in the job market and create opportunities for a new generation of preservation craftspeople.

This is a brilliant way to make sure that a new generation of preservationists is created to continue to maintain national treasures.

I didn’t know that there was such a program until I read, New generation of preservationists at work in Raleigh National Cemetery.

The program pairs preservation crews with youth job training organizations through the national Corps Network to work on repairs across the country. Since the program launched earlier this year, there have been projects at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument in Montana and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta.

These programs and others like them are exciting to read about.  We often lament that so many skills which were critical to our ancestors have disappeared or are less-practiced in today’s modern world.  We don’t want a situation where important buildings and other structures fall into disrepair because the skills needed have disappeared.  Such training in preservation and conservation are invaluable.

Has a youth-focused conversation/preservation group in your community repaired, preserved or conserved?  Please share the story!

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