Toolkit for Conserving Rural Character

The National Trust is working with partners at the local, state and national levels to protect our rural heritage and foster "heritage-based" rural development and conservation approaches. The Rural Heritage Collaborative brings together the full range of National Trust resources and expertise, including existing programs as well as several new initiatives, to help protect our rural heritage and revitalize rural communities. 

Numerous tools, case studies and programs are available to assist you in saving and preserving your historic rural resources.


Identifying Rural Heritage Assets, includes suggestions for surveying historic heritage sites to help identify what assets exist, define the character of the community or site, and determine the next steps in conserving heritage resources.

Protecting Rural Heritage Assets, describes the alternatives available to help conserve historic rural buildings and landscapes.  It includes suggestions for local, state and national designation, and describes other forms of protection.  It also includes ideas for funding rural preservation, including sources of grants and financial assistance programs to help property owners access government programs directed at rural resources, and to help non-profit groups and government agencies revitalize rural assets and rural communities.