May Day Preserves
Best when made during the month of May, but can be enjoyed all year.
1 Historic Building (can substitute with a historic site)
1 unique story
3 tbsp. history
2 tsp. diversity
1 Â½ cups awareness
1 group concerned individuals
Passion, dedication, and hard work (to taste)
Take the building and cover liberally with historical significance. Combine remaining ingredients in any size town or city. Whisk together and mold into the shape of a tour, educational program, or even a fundraising event. Will stay fresh for 31 days.
Serves an entire community
This month, join your community in celebration of the unique and diverse historical sites in your area. It is your chance to get involved with the national grassroots preservation movement and to celebrate your city or states’ place in history.
The celebration is sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), a non-profit membership organization that works to protect and enhance historic and significant sites and landmarks all across the nation.
Now in its fourth year, the month-long celebration officially began as National Preservation Week in 1973. This year’s theme is “ This Place Matters .”
Although many events are organized by local historical preservation groups in each state, make your own “preserves” this month and have some fun with history. Research and learn about your town’s historical sites, then gather your friends for a historical scavenger hunt.
Print out signs that bear the slogan “This Place Matters,” and pose in front of your favorite local historical site. Post the pictures to preservationnation.org or your own preservation blog! Or you could organize or join in a clean-up project in your community of a local park or cemetery.
Help raise funds with a fashion show, make and sell t-shirts to promote your cause, or organize a block party or bake sale. Create a time capsule with pictures of historical landmarks as they are today and designate it to be opened in 20, 50 or 100 years.
You could even interview the older members of your community to gather first-hand information about your town. Celebrate this May in your own way and remember that education is the key.
According to the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy (JCLC), “The campaign aims to raise awareness about the power of historic preservation has to protect and enhance our homes, neighborhoods, and communities — the places that really matter to us.”
Formed in 1949, the NTHP was organized to fight to save important buildings and sites from destruction, development and deterioration. Its mission is “helping people protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them.” The organization works to preserve our nation’s history through its standing landmarks. Their aim is the acquisition and administration of historic sites through their national office in Washington, D.C. and their partner offices in each of the 50 states.
The JCLC, a partner of the NTHP, is celebrating Preservation Month by hosting bus and walking tours, festivals, informational lectures, and an awards ceremony to honor those who have made strides in the preservationist movement in Jersey City.
The JCLC, NHTP and other preservation groups work to revitalize historic or traditional districts or neighborhoods, to foment historic tourism, and to rally the citizens of a community to protect their shared heritage that exists within these sites .
Take action of your own: begin a letter writing campaign and ‘adopt’ your favorite local site to protect. You could distribute fliers, or join in a tour of your city’s landmarks.
Hit those cobblestone streets and speak up as a concerned citizen of your community help out existing campaigns to protect the places that tell the story of your town. (Work Cited)