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Local Preservation: Preservation is Local

Thanks to a Preserve America grant, the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission launched a new initiative in 2009 entitled Preservation is Local (PIL). The program is designed to stimulate Rhode Island communities in addressing the state of historic preservation at the local level, and all local governments are eligible to participate.

In March and April 2009, RIHPHC held three Preservation Is Local Summits: for Providence County, Bristol/Newport counties, and Kent/Washington counties. A fourth mini-summit was held in Warwick. At the summits, we learned about current preservation needs and recent and potential preservation projects.

RIHPHC released the applications for Preservation is Local Grants in May 2009. Applications were due in July, and awards were announced in September. Consolidating the PIL and CLG grants rounds made $200,000 available for projects relating to survey and registration of historic resources; planning and land use activities; public education/heritage tourism activities; historic property management activities; and historic district zoning activities. Applications were accepted for projects from Preserve America communities, CLG communities, or communities that committed to submit an application for Preserve America Community status by October 31, 2010. In short, projects from every community in the state were eligible to apply.

RIHPHC received a total of 57 grant applications from 32 of Rhode Island’s 39 municipalities, as well as the Narragansett Indian Tribe. The combined requests totaled $712,922. Awards were made to assist the following projects:

Project Applicants Grant amount
Blackstone Valley Heritage Landscapes Towns of North Smithfield, Smithfield, Burrillville, Lincoln, Glocester $20,000
2011 Preservation Conference t.b.a. $11,538
Smith's Castle Landscape Master Plan Cocumscussoc Assoc./Town of North Kingstown $6,000
Economical Historic Home programs/website
Preserve RI/City of Providence $20,000
Great Road Historic District Zone Town of Lincoln $10,000
Sandy Pt Light architectural services Prudence Island Conservancy/Town of Portsmouth $5,175
Wayside signs @ East Bay Bike Path/Civic Ctr Barrington Pres. Society/Town of Barrington $6,150
2010 Preservation Conference Town of Little Compton $12,995
Shoreby Hill HD: Inventory Town of Jamestown $10,000
Phillipsdale Survey City of East Providence $15,000
Historic Barns of RI: Framework/Survey Towns of Foster, Glocester, Scituate $13,545
Museum of Natural Hist, Arch. Assessment Museum of Natural History/City of Providence $15,000
West End/Federal Hill survey

West Broadway Neighborhood Association/City of Providence

$15,000
Local Historic District materials Town of Narragansett $18,000
Shannock Village Zoning Study Town of Charlestown $20,000
HDC workshops Grow Smart RI/Town of South Kingstown $9135

For more information, email Sarah Zurier or call her at (401) 222-4142.