Advocating for historic preservation
As Washington State’s only statewide preservation advocacy organization, the Washington Trust plays a key role in advocating for good preservation policy on both the state and national levels.
The Washington State Legislature has now finalized the 2023-2025 state budget, and we’re happy to report several wins for preservation. Here’s an overview:
Washington State Main Street Program
Washington Main Street is a major driver of downtown revitalization, economic development, and community placemaking in Washington State. In acknowledgment of this, the state legislature has confirmed full, maintenance-level funding of $590,000 annually.
Washington State Historical Society (WSHS) Programs
The Heritage Capital Project Fund is a grant program that is critical to the cultural organizations preserving our state’s history across Washington. In acknowledgment of this, the state legislature has fully funded the Washington State Historical Society’s $10 million project budget. Read more.
Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation’s (DAHP) Capital Grant Programs
The state’s capital grant programs received funding in the following amounts:
- Heritage Barn Initiative – $1 million (equal to 2021-2023 funding)
- Historic Courthouse Program – $3.162 million (up from $1.75 million in 2021-2023)
- Historic Cemetery Grant Program – $515,000 (up from $300,000 in 2021-2023)
- Historic Theater Grant Program – $515,000 (up from $300,000 in 2021-2023)
Each year, Washington Trust staff members and volunteers travel to Washington, DC, to advocate for historic preservation programs and funding at the federal level as part of Preservation Advocacy Week (also known as “Lobby Day”). Joined by fellow advocates from across the country, we meet with our state’s representatives and senators to emphasize the value of preservation to Washington’s communities. This is our chance to speak directly to the senators, representatives, and other high-level lawmakers who can enact real change to federal historic preservation policy and budgets.
This year, our 14-member delegation met in person with our legislators on Capitol Hill from March 6-8, 2023. We’ll be looking for delegates for 2024 in the coming months. Interested? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know!
Learn more on our Preservation Advocacy Week webpage.
Stay in the loop on the Washington Trust’s advocacy work and learn how you can help raise your voice in support of historic preservation. Click below to sign up for emails and make sure to select “Preservation Issues and Advocacy Alerts” from the list as an area of interest!