“Great architecture has only two natural enemies: water and stupid men.” –Richard Nickel

Both within and beyond the parks, the National Park Service is part of a national preservation partnership working with American Indian Tribes, states, local governments, nonprofit organizations, historic property owners, and others who believe in the importance of our shared heritage and its preservation.  These programs benefit parks and local communities through their documentation services and through a variety of heritage planning opportunities, including tax incentives and technical assistance to a broad range of partners.

Heritage Preservation Services

“Heritage Preservation Services (HPS) helps our nation’s citizens and communities identify, evaluate, protect and preserve historic properties for future generations of Americans. Located in Washington, DC, the Division provides a broad range of products and services, financial assistance and incentives,educational guidance, and technical information in support of this mission. Its diverse partners include State Historic Preservation Offices, local governments, tribes, federal agencies, colleges, and non-profit organizations.”

Technical Preservation Services

Technical Preservation Services develops historic preservation policy and guidance on preserving and rehabilitating historic buildings, administers the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program for rehabilitating historic buildings, and sets the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

Cultural Resources Diversity Program

The Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program provides a career exploration opportunity for diverse undergraduate and graduate students ages 18-25 in historic preservation/cultural resources work. The program places interns with National Park Service park units and administrative offices, other federal agencies, state historic preservation offices, local governments, and private organizations. Intern sponsors provide work experiences that assist interns with building their resumes in this field.

Heritage Education Services

Heritage Education Services (HES) is responsible for promoting public knowledge and support for cultural resources in parks and communities nationwide and the role the NPS plays in their identification, preservation, and interpretation.  HES administers the Teaching with Historic Places program with its series of on-line lesson plan series and the Discover Our Shared Heritage travel itineraries.  Finally, HES works with NPS cultural resources programs and other organizations and partners inside and outside of the NPS to develop, better coordinate, and extend the reach of education, training, and public awareness activities relating to cultural resources and the programs of the National Park Service.

Network to Freedom

The National Park Service is implementing a national Underground Railroad program to coordinate preservation and education efforts nationwide and integrate local historical places, museums, and interpretive programs associated with the Underground Railroad into a mosaic of community, regional, and national stories.  The NPS project builds upon and is supported by community initiatives around the country as well as legislation passed in 1990 and the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Act of 1998. Historic places and educational or interpretive programs associated with the Underground Railroad will become part of a network, eligible to use or display a uniform network logo, receive technical assistance and participate in program work shops.

National Heritage Area Program

National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are designated by Congress as places where natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape. Through their resources, NHAs tell nationally important stories that celebrate our nation’s diverse heritage. NHAs are lived-in landscapes. Consequently, NHA entities collaborate with communities to determine how to make heritage relevant to local interests and needs.