Juneau to celebrate Preserve America designation

Posted: Friday, August 10, 2007

Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett will visit the Juneau-Douglas City Museum on Tuesday to celebrate Juneau's designation as one of the 514 Preserve America Communities in the country.

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The honor, announced this May, means that Juneau can qualify to receive an unspecified amount of money for some of its heritage tourism program.

It will be up to the city to determine an appropriate project.

Founded in 2003, Preserve America supports interpretive exhibits, signs and multimedia displays - rather than "bricks and mortar" construction or renovation plans.

"There's certainly a wealth of projects that you could choose from," Juneau-Douglas City Museum director Jane Lindsey said. "In so many ways we've been about experiences: Come and see the eagles, come and see the mountains, come and whale-watch. It's just as unique to come and learn about the people who lived here before mining."

Preserve America


• Who: A visit by Lynn Scarlett, deputy secretary of the Interior.

• Why: To celebrate Juneau's designation as a Preserve America community.

• When: 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

• Where: Juneau-Douglas City Museum, Fourth and Main streets.

For more information: www.preserveamerica.gov.

Lindsey and city planner Matt Halitsky worked on the Preserve America application. They received word in April that Juneau had been selected.

Preserve America is a White House initiative created in March 2003. It's meant to honor and encourage communities that celebrate and protect their heritage and historic assets. Communities with the designation can apply for federal grants. The 2006 federal budget set aside $5 million for this purpose.

As of this summer, 514 U.S. communities, one in each of the 50 states, have received the designation.

There are two other Preserve America communities in Alaska: Ketchikan and Sitka. Ketchikan recently received a grant for a way-finding system at its waterfront.

"It's pretty significant that Southeast Alaska is saying we care about our resources, and we have enough going on so that we can receive these designations," Lindsey said.

Scarlett will present Deputy Mayor Merrill Sanford with a commemorative road sign and a certificate signed by first lady Laura Bush, the honorary chairwoman of Preserve America.

• Korry Keeker can be reached at 523-2268 or korry.keeker@juneauempire.com

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