First Lady Michelle Obama Designates Brookhaven Town as a Preserve America Community
Farmingville, NY – Supervisor Mark Lesko has announced that the Town of Brookhaven will receive a certificate of designation signed by First Lady Michelle Obama announcing that Brookhaven Town is now a Preserve America Community. Communities designated through the program receive national recognition for their accomplishments in preserving special places and telling the nation’s story.
Many Preserve America Communities are featured in “Discover Our Shared Heritage” National Register Travel Itineraries, as well as in the “Teaching with Historic Places” curricular materials created by the National Park Service. More than 850 Preserve America Communities have been designated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories, including historic neighborhoods within large cities and tribal communities. Benefits include the use of the Preserve America logo on educational and promotional materials; a community sign; listing in a web-based directory that showcases Brookhaven’s preservation efforts and heritage tourism destinations; and other support. The Town of Brookhaven is one of only 4 Long Island communities to receive the Preserve America Community designation. The other designees are Oyster Bay Hamlet, Shelter Island, and Great Neck Plaza.
“I thank the First Lady for recognizing Brookhaven Town’s efforts to preserve our heritage and tell the story of our 356 year history,” said Supervisor Lesko. “We have many fine examples of restored historic properties including the Longwood Estate in Ridge, Hobbs Farm in Centereach; and the Swan River Schoolhouse in East Patchogue that are open to the public and used for educational programming.”
Another important component to the designation is a focus on cooperative projects between government and not-for-profits, including Hobbs Farm, the Swan River Schoolhouse, the Long Island Music Hall of Fame building in Port Jefferson, the historic photo exhibit at Town Hall and the Terryville Union Hall/Cumsewogue-Terryville Historical Society. The Town of Brookhaven is home to a remarkable number of historic sites, including 46 Town-designated landmarks, 23 New York State Registered Landmarks, 33 National Register Properties, and one National Historic Landmark.
Preserve America is a federal program that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy our priceless cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the program include a greater shared knowledge about the nation’s past, strengthened regional identities and local pride, increased local participation in preserving the country’s cultural and natural heritage assets, and support for the economic vitality of our communities. Since the program’s inception in 2003, the First Lady of the United States has been involved in supporting and promoting Preserve America. Permanent authorizing legislation for the program was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in March 2009. Among the many
Preserve America Community designation is granted to eligible communities that submit an application and meet three general criteria:
The community has recently supported a historic or cultural preservation project that has promoted and/or is currently promoting heritage tourism or otherwise fostering economic vitality, and also involved a public-private partnership between government entities and at least one civic association, non-profit, and/or business enterprise.
The governing body of the community has adopted a resolution indicating its commitment to the preservation of its heritage assets.
The community meets at least five criteria specified in three broad categories: discovering heritage through historic places, protecting historic resources, and promoting historic assets.
Detailed information on all aspects of this initiative can be found at www.preserveamerica.gov.
To learn more about the history and heritage of the Town of Brookhaven, go to www.brookhaven.org or our tourism website at www.visitbrookhaven.com and click on Things to Do in the menu bar.