The National Trust for Historic Preservation has conducted extensive research into who else out there is passionate about preservation, this is a guide for you to understand more about these people.
For my entire adult life, I was a Local Preservationist and didn’t know it.
I volunteered to help save a historic neighborhood school. I donated to local historic sites. I circulated petitions to keep an inappropriate building from coming to our town. We moved to historic neighborhoods: The Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and now Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. We restored three historic homes. We went out of our way to stay at historic hotels. With groans from my kids, I could not pass a historic marker on the highway. And yet, over those decades of being a Local Preservationist, the Trust missed me and I missed the Trust. We would have been perfect for each other.
We now understand, because of the research we recently completed, that there are 15 million Local Preservationists in the United States. They share many of those same interests and values, and are taking action on behalf of preservation. We also know that there are 50 million more people who are highly sympathetic to the cause of saving places. As we work with our Partners to expand the preservation movement and grow our collective influence at the local, state, and national levels, as well as broaden the base of support for preservation, it makes sense to reach out to those who share our interests first before attempting the more difficult task of changing people’s interests. With that simple idea in hand, we have assembled what we now know about Local Preservationists into this guide, to help our Partners seize the opportunity all around us. Of course, this guide will grow as we learn more.