Main Street – Cane River National Heritage Area – NCPTT
Louisiana is filled with great places, great traditions and great people working to keep those cultural assets alive.
The Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation recognizes this year’s award recipients, three from Natchitoches Parish, for their impactful efforts to save historic places, build pride and foster engagement in their communities. Awardees are nominated by the public and selected based on
* Significance and magnitude of the nominee’s contributions and/or achievements.
* Consistent or innovative involvement with and commitment to culture.
* Benefit of the nominee’s contributions to Louisiana’s cultural understanding.
A formal awards ceremony will take place in conjunction with LTHP’s Fall Ramble tour of Columbia and Caldwell Parish on Saturday, Oct. 22. For information about the tour, visit lthp.org/events/next_ramble.
“Natchitoches has long been noted as one of the state’s most preserved and authentic heritage tourism destinations. These awards for three of our leading preservation organizations recognize that leadership and our commitments to creating a vibrant cultural economy in our region.” – Rebecca Blankenbaker
Local recipients are:
Main Street Award – Natchitoches Main Street, Natchitoches
* Recognizes a Main Street community that exemplifies the strategic use of creativity, historic preservation and/or culture to build a climate for cultural expression, improve quality of life, enhance existing assets and strengthen economic opportunity while respecting the quality of the area.
“Because of our small business owners, stakeholders, and partners, our Main Street is one of the state’s most active and beloved downtowns. It’s an honor to receive this year’s recognition.” – Jill Leo
Natchitoches Main Street has served their community for many years. They work tirelessly to promote shopping local, improve the aesthetics and accessibility of their Main Street District and have created new events even during the Covid-19 pandemic to grow activity in the historic district. This has included creating monthly themes and special eventsbringing in food trucks weekly during the summer months to encourage shopping in local boutiques as well as activities along the lakefront.
Education Award – Cane River National Heritage Area, Natchitoches
* Recognizes an individual or organization that, through educational efforts, helped broaden appreciation for the importance of value of historic preservation in Louisiana.
The Cane River National Heritage Area continues building partnerships to help preserve and enhance the Cane River region. These partnerships also help interpret and educate the public about the local history. In 2021, the CRNA created educational opportunities highlighting the African American experience and researching ancestry; traditional Native American tribe crafting, dances, and foods; as well as tours for all ages to learn about the region’s historic landmarks.
Louisiana Heritage Media Award – National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
* Recognizing outstanding works published or produced within the last two years (journalism, films, books, websites or other media) on Louisiana historic preservation themes, topics, issues, projects or local history and architecture.
“Public history, cultural conservation, and historic preservation are cornerstones of our work, and on behalf of our many partners, we accept this recognition and renew our commitment to sharing the authentic stories of our region.” – Rebecca Blankenbaker
The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training was established in 1994, on the grounds of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. NCPTT helps preservationists find better tools, materials and approaches to conserving buildings, landscapes, sites and collections, and is a program of the National Park Service. Their vast and growing collection of media ranges from laser documentation of houses of the formerly enslaved and tenant farmers to condition assessment tools for disaster response and recovery. More information may be found at https://ncptt.nps.gov/.