Community leaders are encouraged to apply for the Preserve America community designation, which recognizes a community’s efforts to care for and share its cultural and natural heritage. THe designation also makes the community eligible for special federal funding. Preserve America is a White House initiative conducted in cooperation with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and other federal agencies. The last 2008 application period is December 1. Application forms are available at http://www.preserveamerica.gov/communities.html
Once a community receives the Preserve America designation, it is eligible to apply for Preserve America grants, which may be used for research and documentation, education and interpretation, planning, marketing, or training. These grants, which must be matched by the community, cannot be used for construction or repair projects. Last year, the government awarded nearly $5 million in federal funding for Preserve America grants.