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Kentucky Heritage Council
Eight Rural Heritage Development Initiative communities to receive federal Preserve America Grants

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, July 01, 2008  
Contact Information:  Amy Potts
RHDI Field Representative
Diane Comer
Kentucky Heritage Council
502-564-7005, Ext. 120

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HODGENVILLE, Ky. - Eight Preserve America communities in the Kentucky Crossroads Rural Heritage Development Initiative (RHDI) region will receive Preserve America grants to conduct cultural resource surveys, prepare nominations to the National Register of Historic Places and support heritage tourism projects.

An umbrella grant totaling $80,000 was awarded to the Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office to be made available to RHDI communities in an effort to raise awareness and promote historic assets in rural areas.  Grant funds will be expended through July 2009. The eight sub-grant recipients are:

  • $8,750 to the City of Bardstown, Nelson County, to create a detailed map for a walking/driving tour of National Register properties and for development of a book illustrating and describing over 100 historic buildings in downtown Bardstown.
  • $8,750 to the City of Campbellsville, Taylor County, to produce a CD featuring voices of notable African Americans from Green and Taylor Counties to narrate the African American Heritage Trail, and to list three properties in rural Taylor County on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • $8,750 to the City of Danville, Boyle County, to survey and nominate structures in historic downtown Danville to the National Register of Historic Places and for a Web site development program that will create online walking tours of significant architecture in downtown Danville and historic Merchant’s Row in Perryville.
  • $8,750 to the City of Greensburg, Green County, for heritage tourism enhancement activities including adding and refurbishing historic markers, construction of an interpretive kiosk for the Old Community cemetery to enhance the Green/Taylor County African American heritage tour, and to survey properties for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • $8,750 to the City of Harrodsburg, Mercer County, for the James Harrod Trust to undertake a survey of barns and outbuildings in Mercer County to use as an educational tool and for further research into documenting rural historic assets.
  • $8,750 to the City of Hodgenville, LaRue County, to expand the current National Register boundaries of the historic downtown commercial district to include at least 20 buildings not currently listed that have high degrees of architectural and historical integrity.
  • $8,750 to the City of Lebanon, Marion County, to nominate two properties to the National Register of Historic Places – St. Joe's church and the Bradfordsville Performing Arts Center – and to create a walking/driving tour brochure of the General John Hunt Morgan Trail.
  • $8,750 to the City of Springfield, Washington County, to create a community history book about sites surveyed in the Rural Heritage Development Initiative Rural Resource Survey project, which will also include National Register properties.

Preserve America is a White House initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy the nation's cultural and natural heritage.  Since its inception, Kentucky has had more Preserve America designations than any state, currently totaling 73.  More information on Preserve America, including a complete list of grant recipients, criteria and application forms for various initiative programs, can be found at

According to Donna Neary, Heritage Council executive director and state historic preservation officer, "The Commonwealth is currently fourth in the nation in the number of historic sites listed in the National Register, many of which are rural buildings and historic districts.  Having detailed survey information in rural areas is essential in determining the variety of resources that still exist and in making decisions about how to best preserve and utilize these rural landscapes."

Preservation Kentucky, a non-profit organization, is the lead partner for the RHDI.  According to Executive Director Joanna Hinton, "Preservation Kentucky recently commissioned a study, Historic Preservation in Kentucky, to promote the economic benefits of preservation investment in the Commonwealth.  Among other topics, the study shows that heritage sites are vital to the tourism industry, making heritage tourism projects like the ones funded by these grants important to the economy throughout our state."

An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Heritage Council is responsible for the identification, protection and preservation of prehistoric resources and historic buildings, sites and cultural resources throughout the Commonwealth, in partnership with other state and federal agencies, local communities and interested citizens.  This mission is integral to making communities more livable and has a far-ranging impact on issues as diverse as economic development, jobs creation, affordable housing, tourism, community revitalization, environmental conservation and quality of life.

Preservation Kentucky, Inc. is a membership-based, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Kentucky’s historic resources through education and advocacy.  The Rural Heritage Development Initiative is a three-year rural preservation pilot project to implement preservation-based economic development strategies in eight central Kentucky counties:  Boyle, Green, LaRue, Marion, Mercer, Nelson, Taylor and Washington.  The RHDI is sponsored by Preservation Kentucky, the Kentucky Heritage Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation and funded through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation with financial match from private donors and the local communities.  For more information about both, visit

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Last Updated 7/1/2008