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Richmond Hill to get money for markers
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The Historic Preservation Division (HPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources recently announced that the City of Richmond Hill is among nine Preserve America communities in Georgia will receive federally funded matching grants (50/50) to conduct heritage tourism activities involving their community landmarks.

The projects will begin next month and will be completed by September 2010.

Richmond Hill is tagged for $10,000 for new markers for the new Coastal Bryan Heritage Trail.

"It’s a great opportunity to help us put up markers to identify historic markers within the city," Richmond Hill city manager Mike Melton said. "It should help promote Richmond Hill and make folks aware of many of the historical aspects of the city."

The sub-grants, totaling $80,000, are part of a larger grant of $128,560 that HPD received earlier this year from the Preserve America initiative to fund a three-pronged statewide community landmark preservation effort.

The remaining funds will be used to produce two publications on historic preservation and heritage tourism and to sponsor a statewide community landmark conference, which will be held in March 2010.

"It is our hope that with these sub-grants, we will assist communities in preserving and interpreting their community landmarks for both local citizens and heritage tourists alike," HPD Director Ray Luce. "Community landmarks are the significant places that people associate with their town and its history. They include, but are not limited to, historic courthouses, city halls, theaters, libraries, schools, cemeteries, hotels, churches, battlefields, parks and gardens, museums, lighthouses, commercial and residential historic districts, and archaeological sites."

Preserve America is a White House initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy the nation’s cultural and natural heritage.

More information on Preserve America, including a complete list of grant recipients, criteria and application forms for various initiative programs, can be found at

Other recipients include:

- Crawford County Board of Commissioners--$16,400 for a preservation plan for the historic Crawford County Courthouse

- City of Savannah--$11,600 for a publication on the history of the city’s Strathmore Estates neighborhood as part of the multi-dimensional Eastside Documentation Project

- City of Augusta--$10,000 for Web-based historic downtown Augusta walking tours

- City of Thomasville--$10,000 for Phase I signage for the new Thomasville Community Landmarks Multi-Use Trail project

- City of Savannah--$10,000 to research, document and transfer historic burial records in Bonaventure and Colonial Park cemeteries into a technologically advanced, public-accessible computer database.

- City of Kennesaw--$6,000 for Web site development for the Smith-Gilbert Gardens as part of a new marketing campaign


- staff report

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