Guam Preservation Trust

Hagatna, Guam

Award Type: Trustees Award for Organizational Excellence

The Guam Preservation Trust has not only provided funding for capital preservation projects throughout the island, but also built a sense of pride for Guam’s unique history and culture.

The Guam Preservation Trust was founded in 1990 in order to preserve and protect Guam’s historic sites and culture. Over the past century, the island has lost much of its cultural heritage to wartime bombing campaigns, natural disasters and over-development. What remains is often long neglected and costly to rehabilitate, but the Guam Preservation Trust has worked tirelessly to keep the island’s 4,000-year history alive and to build a new sense of pride in its rich heritage.

In just two decades, the group has invested more than $20 million to protect historic homes, churches and cultural sites, as well as educate the public about the importance of these places. The Trust has dedicated itself to collaborating and working closely with the community; most notably by developing a five-year master plan for preservation in 2006, and in 2010 by making the bold decision to challenge the United States military’s plans to develop a firing range over the culturally significant ancient village of Pågat. Together, with dedication and diligence, citizens and the Guam Preservation Trust accomplished almost all of the plan’s expected outcomes, and continue to oppose development of the firing range.

"While each is unique, this year's outstanding award winners all reflect the importance of protecting what is special and irreplaceable," said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  "The dedication of Guam Preservation Trust to keep the island’s 4,000-year history alive is remarkable—even challenging the U.S. military. Their efforts are building a new sense of pride in the island’s rich heritage."