|DATE 02/21/2006 7:15 AM|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.
Heritage Highway to Benefit From ‘Preserve America’ Grant
|A project that will involve posting historical signs and markers along U.S. Highway 89, The Heritage Highway, has been selected to receive a Preserve America Grant worth nearly $100,000.
The grant was announced this week by First Lady Laura Bush, who is the honorary chair of Preserve America, a White House initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve cultural and natural heritage.
The Sanpete County project was one of two Utah initiatives to receive support in this inaugural funding round. In total, grants totalling nearly $3.5 million were awarded to projects in 28 states.
The grant will be used to develop regional interpretative and marketing sites along Heritage Highway 89, extending from Fairview in the north to Kanab in the south, says Monte Bona, a member of the Utah Highway 89 Alliance and Mt. Pleasant City Council. The objective is to improve visitor appreciation for the heritage corridor by providing a theme and message through brochures, kiosks, and signage in the six counties along the highway, Bona says.
“Mt. Pleasant City and Sanpete County served as the designated applicant for the Highway because of its Preserve America status, but the beneficiaries also include Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Garfield and Kane counties. This a project for the all of the Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area,” he says.
The grant is Sanpete County’s latest connection to Preserve America. Two cities in the county — Mt. Pleasant and Manti — have been deemed “Preserve America” communities by the federal agency. In addition, Kanab, on the southern end of Highway 89, has also earned the honor.
The distinction recognizes and designates communities that protect and celebrate their heritage, use their historic assets for economic development and community revitalization, and encourage people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs.
Mt. Pleasant received its designation in August 2004 and Manti in November 2004. Mt. Pleasant was recognized for its preservation efforts and enjoyment of its historical and cultural resources as an important part of the country’s heritage. Manti was honored for its use of Old City Hall as a museum and travel and information center, and praised for the more than 4,200 community volunteer hours that went into revitalizing the building. The Manti Historic Preservation Commission, which was established in 2003, was also recognized by Preserve America for playing a vital role, as is the effort to have parts of the city listed in the National Register of Places as a historic district. Kanab was designated in 2005.
Communities designated through the program receive national recognition for their efforts. Benefits include use of the Preserve America logo, listing in a government Web-based directory to showcase preservation and heritage tourism efforts, and eligibility for special existing and proposed Preserve America grants and funding through various government agencies.
The overarching goals of Preserve America include a greater shared knowledge about the Nation’s past; strengthened regional identities and local pride; increased local participation in preserving the country’s cultural and natural heritage assets; and support for the economic vitality of communities.
For more information, visit www.PreserveAmerica.gov
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