Sanpete County Aims to Add More ‘Preserve America’ Communities to its List – Press Release 2/20/2005

DATE 02/20/2005 7:36 PM

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.

Sanpete County Aims to Add More ‘Preserve America’ Communities to its List

Sanpete County is the proud home of two of Utah’s four Preserve America communities, and local preservationists and government leaders would like to see the numbers increase this year. Preserve America is a White House initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve cultural and natural heritage. It is chaired by First Lady Laura Bush. Currently, 220 communities throughout the United States carry the designation, including Mt. Pleasant and Manti.“We’d like to see cities and town all throughout Sanpete County become Preserve American communities,” says Monte Bona, a member of the Mt. Pleasant City Council and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance. Communities apply for the designation through the national agency. The most recent communities were announced by Mrs. Bush earlier this month, and the next quarterly deadline for applications is March 1. “We are encouraging our communities that have projects and programs that convey their national heritage to apply for the program,” Bona says.

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 is an important part of the country’s heritage. “You honor our nation’s past and inspire and educate for the future,” Mrs. Bush wrote in a letter to the community. “As your community shares its story with residents and visitors, you set a great example for others.” Manti was honored for its use of Old City Hall was 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 use of Old City Hall as a travel information center is an important component of Manti’s participation in regional efforts to promote tourism along Highway 89, the spine of the proposed Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area. Reuse of the building is also a cornerstone of an ongoing Main Street Enhancement Project.

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.

“Manti is being established as our county seat,” Bona says. “This designation, as well as the development of the Mormon Pioneer Heritage Center, which is being developed in coordination with Snow College and Utah State University, is among the reason’s the city is key to our development efforts.”

The proposed Mormon Pioneer Heritage Center will coordinate research and extension efforts in recreation, heritage tourism and agriculture, and is closely connected to the proposed bill by Sen. Bob Bennett to establish a Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area.

The 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.

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. For more information, including brief profiles of the communities, application forms, and procedures, visit

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502
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