Throughout the preservation planning process, it is important to provide preservation maintenance to ensure that existing landscape features are retained. This is particularly important during the research and long-term treatment planning process. To be effective, the maintenance program must have a guiding philosophy, approach or strategy; an understanding of preservation maintenance techniques; and a system for documenting changes in the landscape.

The philosophical approach to maintenance should coincide with the landscape’s current stage in the preservation planning process. A Cultural Landscape Report and Treatment Plan can take several years to complete, yet during this time managers and property owners will likely need to address immediate issues related to the decline, wear, decay, or damage of landscape features. Therefore, initial maintenance operations may focus on the stabilization and protection of all landscape features to provide temporary, often emergency measures to prevent deterioration, failure, or loss, without altering the site’s existing character.

After a Treatment Plan is implemented, the approach to preservation maintenance may be modified to reflect the objectives defined by this plan. The detailed specifications prepared in the Treatment Plan relating to the retention, repair, removal, or replacement of features in the landscape should guide and inform a comprehensive preservation maintenance program. This would include schedules for monitoring and routine maintenance, appropriate preservation maintenance procedures, as well as ongoing record keeping of work performed. For vegetation, the preservation maintenance program would also include thresholds for growth or change in character, appropriate pruning methods, propagation and replacement procedures.

(Preservation Brief 36)

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