Press Release

History Colorado Awards More Than $150,000 to Local Preservation Projects

Awards provide funding for foundational preservation efforts and educational opportunities

DENVER — March 7, 2023— History Colorado’s Certified Local Government (CLG) program has awarded $157,320 for historic preservation projects by county and municipal governments. The projects funded by this round of grants include preservation planning, surveys, and education/outreach activities. The seven projects funded in this grant round will begin in the summer of 2023 and wrap up by December 31, 2024.  

Luke Perkins
303.866.3670 | 

The CLG program is part of the State Historic Preservation Office and is one of the many ways that History Colorado invests in the prosperity of rural communities and preserves the rich history of the Centennial State. 
Currently 68 of Colorado’s 127 local governments have been certified by the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service as CLGs. This distinction makes them eligible for grants and shows they participate in the national preservation program while maintaining standards consistent with federal archaeology and historic preservation requirements.

"Engagement, education and survey projects like the ones being funded in this round of grants are the basis of community preservation,” said Patrick Eidman, Chief Preservation Officer and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer. “These foundational projects are opportunities for communities to become aware of their historic resources and how to properly protect and maintain them so they can engage in deeper preservation work"

Highlighted Projects:
City of Golden | Golden, CO

The City of Golden was awarded $24,320 to continue ongoing ethnography work with Indigenous tribes that traditionally called the front range of Colorado home. This grant will expand on previous work by the Golden History Museum & Park (GHMP) to advance the understanding of Indigenous history and forge trusting relationships with Indigenous communities.

This grant will fund site visits by tribal representatives of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, so they can share information about Indigenous understanding of the Golden region and build on relationships established during a study previously funded by the Certified Local Government program.

The previous study resulted in a report created in consultation with Tribal Historic Preservation Officers on the existing scholarship of Indigenous habitation of the Clear Creek Valley and inspired a twelve-point plan to expand Indigenous representation at GHMP.

“The study was intended as only a first step in our commitment to Indigenous representation,” said Nathan Richie, Museum Manager of the Golden History Museum & Park, “The Museum would like to invest in a future exhibit and programming space about Native American culture and heritage onsite and would like to work with Indigenous community members to conceive an idea that would be meaningful and significant.”

This latest funding also allows GHMP to train staff on repatriation of tribal artifacts and the government-to-government consultation process of working with sovereign Indigenous nations. 

Richie will lead this project and plans to include a number of local advisors with strong understandings of Golden’s archaeological resources who can help identify sites of interest during tribal visits and participate in the tribal consultation process.

Town of Saguache | Saguache, CO
The Town of Saguache was awarded $23,432 to fund workshops covering basic adobe construction concepts with hands-on, all-ages activities and technical adobe building maintenance and preservation practices. These workshops will be conducted by a contractor who specializes in maintaining the cultural heritage of adobe construction throughout the Southwest. 

Civic entities, private owners, and community members will learn the basic concepts and advanced technical issues of adobe architecture. The grant will fund an all-ages community engagement opportunity where the residents of Saguache can learn the process of making adobe bricks and the history of the construction method. 

Adobe buildings are a common architectural style in Saguache for both commercial and residential uses and this workshop presents a chance to promote the historical significance of these buildings and help preserve them.

“It has been a struggle in this area to hold on to the practices and knowledge required to keep these structures in good repair,” said Adrienne Garbini, Chair of Saguache’s Historic Preservation Commission. “We want to provide support and education for our people and our government entities to care for adobes, as well as to expand community engagement in our built environment and Historic Preservation resources.”

To remove barriers to participation, and increase the impact of this educational opportunity, the Town of Saguache intends to provide travel reimbursement for workshop participants and document the process to create educational materials that can be provided throughout the San Luis Valley to help preserve adobe architecture in the region.

Garbini hopes this will help preserve the built environment that is deeply connected to the Hispano culture of the San Luis Valley and directly address a pressing issue of cultural loss being experienced by the Saguache community.

Otero County | La Junta, CO
Otero County was awarded $14,169 for the creation of a placed-based workbook and teacher resource manual for 3rd grade classes. These resources are the culmination of ongoing survey and context studies which have raised awareness of historic resources in the county and will align with state education standards while incorporating local history and historic preservation concepts.

These curriculum resources will focus on the multicultural history of Colorado’s Eastern Plains with some highlights including: expanded education on the African American homesteading community known as The Dry; history of first and second generation Japanese American families on the Eastern Plains, historic Hispano settlement of Otero County, and medical facilities established by Mennonites in southeast Colorado.

Otero County hopes this will help students in public schools connect with distant time periods in a more personal way by showing direct local connections which demonstrate the effects of national and international events on their communities.

“By bringing social studies and historic preservation ‘home’ to places in the communities where children live, we can help them understand why these places matter,” said Rebecca Goodwin, preservation officer for Otero County. “This is particularly important in areas like Otero County where many students do not have the opportunity to travel to historic sites in other areas.”

In addition to educating on the historic resources within Otero County, the curriculum will also highlight the importance of these resources to rural communities.

“The goal of the project is to encourage students to focus on places they are familiar with in order to not only study social studies/history, but also recognize the importance of protecting archaeological sites as part of preservation education,” said Goodwin.

In addition to the highlighted projects the following CLG’s were approved for grant funding: 

  • Boulder County received $24,396 for a cultural resource survey on the 556-acre Riverside Ranch Open Space property in advance of wildfire risk reduction projects.
  • The City of Steamboat Springs received $21,000 for development of an Education, Engagement, and Outreach Strategy for the Steamboat Springs community, along with comprehensive training for the Historic Preservation Commission and staff.
  • The Town of Lyons received $25,000 for a historic context study outlining historic events and identifying assets within a potential historic planning zone.
  • The City of Leadville received $25,000 for a survey of Leadville’s West End residential neighborhood, including approximately 108 primary buildings and an additional 45 accessory structures.

About The Certified Local Government Program
Through the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), History Colorado administers the U.S. Department of Interior’s Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) Program in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS). Under this program, NPS has specified that at least 10% of Colorado’s annual program funds must be subgranted to Certified Local Governments (CLGs). Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to eligible applicants for projects that range from preservation planning, context studies and surveys, outreach, connecting with underrepresented communities, as well as scholarship funding for educational opportunities by historic preservation commissioners in CLGs.

Since the initiation of the program in 1985, History Colorado has certified 68 local governments and awarded more than $4 million to counties and municipalities in Colorado. In 2000, History Colorado began providing matching funds for CLG grants through the State Historical Fund which removed the barrier of matching funding for governments applying for grants. Additional information about the CLG program is available here.

About History Colorado
History Colorado is a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and a 501(c)3 non-profit that has served more than 75,000 students and 500,000 people in Colorado each year. It is a 143-year-old institution that operates eleven museums and historic sites, a free public research center, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, and the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), which is one of the nation’s largest state funded preservation programs of its kind. More than 70% of SHF grants are allocated in rural areas of the state. Additionally, the offices of the State Archaeologist and the State Historic Preservation Officer are part of History Colorado.

History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving and sharing the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, collecting, outreach to Colorado communities, the History Colorado Center and Stephen H. Hart Research Center in Denver, and ten other museums and historic attractions statewide. History Colorado is one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in Colorado. Visit, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information.