With the assistance and support of the Sonoma Valley Historical Society, the City of Sonoma has been designated ‘Preserve America Community’ by the White House.
The special status honors communities that protect and celebrate their heritage, use their historic assets for economic development, encourage people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education programs and heritage tourism.
It also entitles a community to apply for grants to further those aims.
Patricia Cullinan, president of the Sonoma Valley Historical Society will present the Preserve America Communities commendation to the City at the Council meeting on Monday, August 17.
“This is an important commendation for Sonoma acknowledging the importance of protecting our heritage,” said Patricia Cullinan, president of the Sonoma Valley Historical Society. “The culture of Sonoma has had many facets, and sharing them with residents and visitors is important.”
She will present the Preserve America Communities commendation to the City at the Council meeting on Monday, August 17.
Cullinan said the City of Sonoma being Certified Local Government was a major asset in attaining this designation. “In 2013, the City made a commitment to preserve, protect and increase awareness of our unique cultural heritage.”
On example of the City supporting the preservation of its heritage resources, she said, was its long-time partnership with the Sonoma Community Center. “This was illustrated by the numerous restoration projects, funded through collaborations with numerous local non-profit organizations, including interior remodeling and the Maloney Memorial Garden, a Waterwise Demonstration Project that serves as a community educational tool.”
Additionally, Sonoma’s application was supported by identifying the local organizations that manage a community-supported museum, provide an interpretive facility, and maintain a collection of local history records.
Such local groups include: The Sonoma Valley Historical Society and Depot Museum; The Sonoma State Historic Parks Association; The City of Sonoma Historian; The Sonoma Valley Woman’s Club; The League for Historic Preservation; and The General Joseph Hooker House
Included were citizen volunteer programs, such as a docent or guides, at historic sites. Providing opportunities for children to learn about local heritage in the schools was another important criteria.
Another required element was a local heritage tourism program that included promotional material, such as the Walking Map of Historic Resources and the Sonoma Overlook Trail’s Mountain Cemetery map.
The re-enactment of the Bear Flag Revolt organized by the Native Sons of the Golden West Sonoma Chapter Parlor 111 qualified as a regularly scheduled heritage observance.
“The Sonoma Valley Historical Society is honored to be have partnered with the City of Sonoma in applying for this designation as a Preserve America Community and thanks all the community groups whose efforts supported this application,” Cullinan said.
Also, the designation allows Sonoma to the prestigious Preserve Community logo on road signs and promotional material.