The new year is getting into full swing, and 2015 will see communities across Alberta conserving and celebrating their valued historic places.
This past Fall, several local governments applied for Municipal Heritage Partnership Program (MHPP) Grants from the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation. At the Foundation Board’s November 29, 2014 meeting, five municipalities received funding for strategic heritage planning projects. These initiatives will help to create a meaningful future for key heritage resources.
The City of Lethbridge is continuing its heritage planning work with a Phase III project to add information to its Heritage Inventory. This smaller project will evaluate approximately properties from the City’s “Places of Interest” List. Lethbridge received a matching grant of $5, 500 in MHPP funding.
Over the past few years, the Municipality of the Crowsnest Pass has completed Phases I and II of their own Heritage Inventory, documenting and evaluating the communities of Coleman, Frank, and Blairmore. This year, they will be working on the former Village of Bellevue, Hillcrest Mines, Passburg, and the rural area to the eastern-most boundary of the municipality. For this comprehensive project, Crowsnest Pass received a matching grant of $30, 000 in MHPP funding.
Moving up to central Alberta, Strathcona County has long partnered with the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program. They are continuing their Heritage Inventory work with a Phase III project evaluating additional properties from their Places of Interest List. Evaluating a smaller number of priority sites is a budget-friendly way for a municipality to continue its heritage planning work. Strathcona County received a matching grant of $6, 000 in MHPP funding.
The Town of High River, valiantly soldiering on with its heritage work after the catastrophic floods of 2013, applied to continue with Phase III of their evaluation work as well. This Phase will supplement the previous projects, which laid a great foundation for the future. High River received a matching grant of $20, 000 in MHPP funding.
Taking a jog out west, Yellowhead County is doing something different this time around. While the other grant recipients prioritized evaluation work, the County is preparing its first Heritage Management Plan. Having completed a few rounds of Heritage Survey and Inventory work already, the time has come to focus on policy and strategy. Yellowhead county received a matching grant of $20, 000 in MHPP funding.
What these projects demonstrate is the increasing skill and capacity of local governments across Alberta to evaluate and manage their own, top-notch heritage programs. The increasing number of historic places being protected and conserved as Municpal Historic Resources is a testimony to the excellent work being done at the local level – all over Alberta. Congratulations!