More than 50 of Arkansas’ 75 counties and 25 cities have joined thousands of communities across the country in presenting proclamations declaring May as Historic Preservation Month.


Recently, Grant County Judge Randy Pruitt and Hot Spring County Judge Dennis Thornton made such proclamations, according to the Division of Arkansas Heritage.


“At the Division of Arkansas Heritage, we believe strongly in our mission to identify and preserve the state’s cultural, historic and natural resources,” Jimmy Bryant, director of the division, said in a news release May 4. “During the month of May, we are proud to have so many municipalities around the state joining us in celebrating Historic Preservation Month.”


Historic Preservation Month is a nationwide campaign spearheaded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Park Service (NPS), of which the National Register for Historic Places is a program.


According to the NPS, Preservation Month was established in 1973, and encourages state and local governments to join with their state historic and preservation societies to issue proclamations that encourage residents to engage in events that instill national and community pride, promote heritage tourism and show the economic benefits of historic preservation, according to the release.


During the national health crisis, Arkansas Heritage is encouraging citizens to take advantage of “drive by history” by researching historic sites in their counties utilizing the AHPP’s database of National Register properties then taking a driving tour to see sites from their research. The database can be accessed at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/Historic-Properties/National-Register/search-national-register-listings.


As of May 4, Historic Preservation Month proclamations continue to pour into the offices at the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP). For a list of participating counties so far, visit http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/blog/2020-proclamation-of-historic-preservation-month.


Details: info@arkansaspreservation.com or www.arkansaspreservation.com.