10 Easy Ways to Preserve Your Community
Protecting America's heritage can be easy and fun. Below are 10 simple ways to preserve historic places.
- Explore your family's history. Show your kids the places where you went to school or where you got married; take your parents to a place that's important in your life.
- Walk or bike. Getting out of your car allows you to appreciate the buildings and parks that make up the place you live, and you'll also have a much better chance of catching up with your friends and neighbors.
- Shop on Main Street. Traditional commercial districts not only have appealing buildings — look up and admire the detail of the upper floors — but they also feature locally-owned stores that are vital parts of your community.
- Tour your hometown. Visit a historic site in your area or stop by the local historical society or museum. Check the events calendar in the newspaper or on the Web, then go to one of the street fairs or ethnic festivals or neighborhood tours you've always meant to enjoy.
- Read all about it. Every community has a book about its local history, and many have more than one. They're available at the local library (often a historic place itself) or at the historical society.
- Entertain yourself surrounded by history. Attend a live performance or movie at a historic theater, or eat at a restaurant in an historic building. If you like the atmosphere, tell the owner or host.
- Join an organization — even better, more than one — dedicated to preservation. Become a member of Drayton Hall and the National Trust online, or find out about groups in your area.
- Sleep in a historic place. There are historic inns and b&b's across the country; many of the best are members of the Trust's Historic Hotels of America.
- Ask your neighbors about your neighborhood. Talk to people who've lived on your street longer than you have. Find out what they remember about living there, and about the people who have moved on.
- Visit some sacred history. Churches are often among a community's oldest and most beautiful buildings, and cemeteries reveal the fascinating lives of those who came before.