Over the past several months, I have read newspaper accounts from around the nation about communities that are debating whether they should apply for, or support an organization or work in partnership with a nonprofit that wants to apply for ownership of a lighthouse or other historic property in their community.
In reading these accounts, I have been dismayed by some of the comments made by some elected officials or other community residents who don't want their community to get involved in historic preservation. Their reasons range from the potential cost, insurance and liability concerns, to statements that some of these structures should be torn down because they could present a future public hazard.
This type of thought is dangerous, albeit understandable. However, we need to deal with this thought process and change people's perspective of historic preservation, which does not happen overnight.
What was successful five or ten years ago is not necessarily going to be effective today in our ever-changing and uncertain world. Natural disasters, terrorism, dwindling pools of funding and America's rising dependence on nonprofits in the social, health and human services fields have placed new and ever challenging demands on our lighthouse and preservation projects.
In light of the complexities associated with these external challenges, the only way the preservation movement will succeed is fourfold: through new people joining preservation groups, more lighthouse educational initiatives, creative fund raising and more subscribers to this magazine. Strength in numbers can create and overcome all obstacles.
We all need to do more, to go for that extra mile, in getting new people involved, teaching the community about the importance of lighthouse preservation and saving our maritime history as well as supporting the lighthouse group or groups of your choice.
This story appeared in the
April 2006 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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