Grant helps honor heritage

— The city of Steamboat Springs is among the nation's first to receive a grant promoting the protection of community heritage.

The city was one of 45 recipients of $3.5 million in Preserve America grants. Preserve Amer--ica is a White House initiative that supports efforts to conserve elements of cultural and natural heritage. The initiative's goals include promoting education about the past, increasing community pride and supporting economic vitality within a community.

Steamboat received $35,000 to develop a community interpretive plan, which is a cultural heritage tourism project. Cultural heritage tourism showcases a community's heritage and culture.

Several groups took part in preparing the grant request.They included the city, Yampa--tika, Main Street Steamboat Springs, Historic Routt County, the Community Ag All--iance and the Tread of Pioneers Museum, said Winnie DelliQuadri, the city's grants analyst.

Those organizations and other individuals and groups will be able to participate in developing the city's interpretive plan. Planners will be able to discuss the historic stories and themes they would like to see implemented in the city. Because the city had to match the grant, the project will cost at least $70,000. The money also will be used for city walking tours.

City Council members Susan Dellinger and Steve Ivancie represented the city during the grant announcement event last week in Washington, D.C. The event was held at the Historic Preservation Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives. Guests included first lady Laura Bush and Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton. Dellinger and Ivancie also visited the offices of the region's representatives in Congress.

Dellinger and Ivancie on Monday commended the city's staff for working hard not only on this grant but also on acquiring other grants. In particular, Ivancie mentioned DelliQuadri, Laureen Schaffer, historical preservation specialist, and Linda Kakela, the director of intergovernmental services.

"They really are excellent in what they do and have a high level of expertise and professionalism," Ivancie said. "They're just fantastic."

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