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Get involved in Preservation50, the golden anniversary celebration of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966

By Beverly Laing, historian, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, 302-736-7437, bev.laing@delaware.gov.

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ State Historic Preservation Office and preservation partners throughout the state are gearing up to celebrate an important anniversary and everyone is invited to join. 2016 marks the 50th year since the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, a moment when the country officially recognized the value of preserving and protecting the places that reflect its historic heritage. The act established programs and funding to assist states, Indian tribes and local communities in identifying and preserving their significant historic properties. Delaware’s communities have seen the benefits of these efforts. The anniversary offers the opportunity to raise public awareness and heighten interest about historic preservation in our towns and cities, counties and our state.

Preservation50 is a nation-wide coalition of citizens from all backgrounds who are coming together to build upon the national preservation program established by Congress 50 years ago. Today, federal, state and local governments are working with local preservation organizations, historical societies, museums, schools and churches to protect and preserve our communities. The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs invites YOU to join in these efforts and share the fun.

Beginning now and running through October 2016, we will be part of a force across the state to share ideas, present workshops, offer expertise and generally connect neighborhoods and citizens with the tools needed to make a difference in preserving our heritage, our cultures and our communities. You will see us at festivals and fairs, including the “Revealing the Ridgely Family” celebration in downtown Dover on Oct. 3, 2015; lectures and conferences; and online.

How do you get involved? Look for the Delaware Preservation50 logo and check out the events. Tell us about success stories you have on historic preservation. If you’re interested in joining our efforts, just give us a call, or go to the Preservation50 website and see all the many opportunities to play a role in this celebration.

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