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County of Santa Clara Promotes Historic Preservation Month

Story-Sharing Program and Educational Tool Help to Raise Public Awareness

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – May 2011 is National Historic Preservation Month. To celebrate, the County of Santa Clara has launched two major programs to promote local historical heritage preservation: “My Santa Clara County,” a photo-and-story sharing program to identify buildings, landscapes or other places that are of historic importance, and a slide presentation that introduces the Historical Heritage Grant Program to the local communities.

“These important historic heritage projects will enable us to preserve Santa Clara County’s treasured past for future generations,” said Supervisor Dave Cortese, President of the Board of Supervisors. “Programs like these help to raise awareness about the vast historical resources in the county and allow residents to share their ideas about sites to be preserved.”

Residents Submit Photos and Stories
“My Santa Clara County” is a part of “This Place Matters,” a national public awareness campaign sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The program invites residents to submit a digital photo of a special place in Santa Clara County and a brief story about why the historically significant place is special to them. Residents can submit their materials online by following a few steps:

  • Download the “My Santa Clara County” sign from the County’s Planning Office Web site (www.sccplanning.org), or make their own;
  • Have a digital photo taken at the special place. Make sure someone in the photo holds up the “My Santa Clara County” sign; and
  • Upload the digital photo and the short story to County’s Planning Office Web site.

“The purpose of ‘My Santa Clara County’ program is to celebrate the unique and culturally diverse stories about buildings and places in our county,” said Priya Cherukuru, the County’s Historic Heritage Coordinator. “The program will also help local communities to start conversations on preserving these places.”

Deadline for the submission of “My Santa Clara County” materials is May 31, 2011. The photos and stories submitted will be posted on the County Office of Planning Web site and remain online until September 1, 2011.

Informational Briefing about Historical Heritage Grant
The County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors established the Historical Heritage Grant Program in 1990 to promote historic preservation and increase public awareness of significant cultural, historical, and archaeological resources within the county. Since then, the Board has approved grants for 62 projects across the county, totaling nearly $6.3 million, funded primarily by the Parks Charter Development Fund. Many finished projects have become visitor destinations, including Casa Grande in the South County, Sea Scout Building in Palo Alto, and the Old City Hall in Gilroy.

Local governments and nonprofit organizations are encouraged to participate in historic heritage preservation through this Grant Program. To qualify, a project should be a capital project located on a designated public park and accessible to the public. Members of the Santa Clara County Historical Heritage Commission are available to provide a free educational presentation to these organizations upon request. A 25-minute slideshow prepared for the presentation can be found at the Historic Preservation Month link on www.sccplanning.org, under “Historic Preservation” on the left, or by clicking on the link Historical Heritage Grant Program.

“We look forward to working with civic groups, historical societies, non-profit organizations, and other community groups on this important matter to protect significant sites in our county and preserve our history,” said April Halberstadt, Chair of the Historic Heritage Commission.

Organizations may request a presentation by a member of the Historic Heritage Commission by contacting Priya Cherukuru at 408.299.5787, or e-mailing priya.cherukuru@pln.sccgov.org.

Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Lingxia Meng, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119; Priya Cherukuru, County Office of Planning (408) 299-5787
Posted: May 6, 2011