Elkins City Mayor Bruce Ledford, Farmington City Mayor Ernie Penn and Fayetteville City Mayor Lioneld Jordan have declared May as Historic Preservation Month. More than 50 of Arkansas’s 75 counties and 25 cities have joined thousands of communities across the country in presenting proclamations.

“At the Division of Arkansas Heritage, we believe strongly in our mission to identify and preserve the state’s cultural, historic and natural resources,” said Jimmy Bryant, director of the division. “During the month of May, we are proud to have so many municipalities around the state joining us in celebrating Historic Preservation Month.”

As of Monday, May 4, proclamations continue to trickle into the offices at the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP). To see a complete list of participating counties, visit http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/blog/2020-proclamation-of-historic-preservation-month.

Historic Preservation Month is a nationwide campaign spearheaded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Park Service (NPS), of which the National Register for Historic Places is a program. According to the NPS, Preservation Month was established in 1973, and encourages state and local governments to join with their state historic and preservation societies to issue proclamations that encourage residents to engage in events that instill national and community pride, promote heritage tourism and show the economic benefits of historic preservation.

During the national health crisis, Arkansas Heritage is encouraging citizens to take advantage of “drive by history” by researching historic sites in their county utilizing the AHPP’s database of National Register properties then taking a driving tour to see sites from their research. The database can be accessed at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/Historic-Properties/National-Register/search-national-register-listings.

The AHPP is an agency of Arkansas Heritage responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources. Other agencies are the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Arkansas State Archives. Arkansas Heritage is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.