Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
Emergency Messages as of 4:51 am, Sat. Jul. 24
No information currently posted.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
Primary email address for a new account:


Manage my existing Subscription

News Release
Community Disaster Resilience Planning for Heritage Resources model and guidebook wins national award - 06/22/21

SALEM, Oregon – The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) have announced the 38 winners of the AASLH Leadership in History Awards. Oregon Heritage is pleased to announce that the Community Disaster Resilience Planning for Heritage Resources model and guidebook project is one of the recipients of this award.

The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 76th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.  The awards honor people, projects, exhibits, and publications that represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history.

Oregon Heritage, in partnership with UO School of Planning, Public Policy and Management’s Institute for Policy Research & Engagement (IPRE), the City of Cottage Grove and several local nonprofits, worked over the last year to develop a new model for heritage resource disaster planning. The initiative resulted in organizational plans for five heritage organizations, a community-wide plan for the city and a guidebook so the process can be duplicated in other communities.

“It is important to protect heritage resources from disaster, not only for their own intrinsic value, but also for the critical role they play in community healing following a disaster. This project resulted in a collective approach where heritage resources were considered alongside other critical community assets in a city’s planning efforts for future potential disasters,” comments Chrissy Curran, Director of Oregon Heritage and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer.

“Winning this award emphasizes how important it is to identify and safeguard the irreplaceable heritage resources that make us who we are as a community, not only so they remain for the future, but for the value they bring as anchors in a disruptive time. We look forward to having other Oregon communities use this guide and process.”

Heritage resources like historic downtowns, museums, historic districts, cemeteries, genealogical libraries, etc. are valuable community assets. They are also wonderful resources to assist communities in recovery from disasters. The effort to strengthen these organizations’ resilience following a disaster is critical. According to Kuri Gill, grants and outreach coordinator with Oregon Heritage, it was time to try something new. “After working for years with heritage organizations on disaster planning and response, we discovered some challenges. Remaining focused on disaster planning and preparation when organizations are trying to keep the doors open and the lights on is tough.” It seemed that a community plan with coordinated goals would help drive the work and make it easier to access resources. The next step was to find the right team to pull off a pilot project.

Oregon Heritage coordinates the Oregon Heritage All-Star Community program, which recognizes communities that support, promote and coordinate their heritage resources. Cottage Grove is one such community, that also has an award-winning preservation plan which includes the community’s heritage resources. Since they were already coordinating heritage organizations and incorporating them into city planning, the city was an ideal pilot partner.

Oregon Heritage partnered with IPRE on this project. IPRE has produced excellent community planning projects and disaster resilience work through its Community Planning Workshop (CPW). This project is a good example of the power of university-community partnerships, explains Robert Parker, director of strategic and technical solutions, for IPRE. “Oregon Heritage has long worked to support preservation of Oregon’s heritage, the CPW provided need capacity to bring the guidebook to completion,” said Parker. “The project supported the mission of Oregon Heritage, of heritage organizations in Cottage Grove, and provided our graduate students a robust learning platform on emergency management and resiliency in the middle of a global pandemic.”

Cottage Grove heritage nonprofits that committed to the project included: Bohemia Gold Mining Museum, Cottage Grove Genealogical Society, Cottage Grove Historical Society, Cottage Grove Museum, and Downtown Cottage Grove Inc. Representatives of each organization participated in several workshops and listening sessions to develop plans for their individual organizations. They also participated in the development of the community plan. According to Amanda Ferguson, City of Cottage Grove planner, the results were worth the effort. “I am so pleased that Cottage Grove was chosen to participate in this disaster planning process. Our Heritage Partners learned so much about disaster resilience, and are now much better prepared to respond to small and large issues within their organizations and as part of a greater heritage community. This plan will give the City a path forward to help guide community resilience efforts while positioning us to better preserve our own resources.”

To access the model plans, the guidebook, supporting materials, and the workshops visit the Oregon Heritage website at www.oregonheritage.org. To see all 38 winners of the AASLH Leadership in History Awards visit www.aaslh.org. For more information about Oregon Heritage contact i.gill@oregon.gov">Kuri Gill at 503-383-6787.

View more news releases from Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept..