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Support preservation in Washington State in 2023 and beyond

In the past three years, the world has changed dramatically. Preservation is facing more complex challenges than ever before.

With the pandemic not yet in the rearview mirror, small businesses and communities across Washington are still recovering. At the same time, towns and cities are wrestling with issues like climate change, housing, and equity. You see it across the state. Wildfires endangering homes and businesses and affecting air quality for millions. Floodwaters surging through downtowns and causing untold damage. Cities from Port Townsend to Walla Walla facing housing shortages—particularly for low-income residents—prompting the state to declare an affordable housing crisis. Neighborhoods facing cultural erasure as major infrastructure projects reshape the landscape and the social fabric of communities.

We believe that preservation in Washington State can and should play an important role in addressing these issues. Through adaptive reuse, we can reduce our carbon footprint, cutting back on waste and working towards green energy goals. By strategically repurposing historic buildings (like Magnuson Park’s Building 9 in Seattle) for housing, we can create beautiful, affordable homes for all of our residents. Through thoughtful development, inclusive storytelling, and intentional policymaking, we can preserve important historic and cultural sites that bring people together, build community, and foster a sense of belonging.

But we can’t do it alone. Preservation is a movement—one that transcends the urban/rural divide, age and income brackets, and political parties. We need the support of legislators at the state and federal levels; that’s why we’ll be in Olympia and D.C., meeting with elected officials and advocating for preservation-friendly policies. We need the support of city and county commissioners, Tribes, planners, developers, and community organizers; that’s why we’ll be working across the state in communities large and small, building partnerships and promoting local preservation projects.

Most of all, we need your help. Join the movement. Make a year-end donation to the Washington Trust. Your donation is fully tax-deductible, and by donating, you’re not only helping to save the places that matter in Washington State—you’re making a huge difference in helping us tackle the many challenges we face in preservation today.

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