National Trust for Historic Preservation Names U.S. Department of Agriculture its 2011 Main Street Leadership Award winner
USDA Honored for its Support of the Revitalization of Nation’s Rural Main Streets
Posted May 20, 2011 | Contact email@example.com or 202-588-6141
On May 25, the National Trust for Historic Preservation will present the U.S.Department of Agriculture with the 2011 Main Street Leadership Award. Dallas Tonsager, Under Secretary for Rural Development, will receive the award at the Main Street Awards Ceremony during the National Main Streets Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. The award recognizes creative approaches to commercial district revitalization challenges.
USDA was chosen for this award in honor of their outstanding partnerships with rural Main Streets nationwide. USDA has provided grant funding for a broad range of programs and innovative projects in Main Street districts across the country in recent years, and these efforts have cumulatively made a significant impact on the landscape of commercial district revitalization. In the past five years alone, USDA has provided grant funds for local Main Street programs and projects in more than 15 states, through the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) and the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG).
“USDA and the National Trust for Historic Preservation both work so that rural America remains a place where families want to live and people want to work,” said Tonsager. “Giving rural Americans the tools to dig into revitalization efforts in their communities is essential.”
In 2010, for example, a USDA Rural Development grant allowed Main Street Iowa to hold “Greening Your District” and “Complete Streets” workshops in over 30 Main Street districts in the state. Other projects include one-on-one business assistance in Arizona, energy efficiency districts in Oregon, downtown food kitchens in Wyoming, regional Main Street training programs in Pennsylvania, downtown branding development in Delaware, and capital for a Main Street revolving loan fund in New Mexico.
“The Main Street approach and network is only as strong as its leadership,” said Doug Loescher, director of the National Trust Main Street Center. “The impact of our movement is greatly enhanced by the national organizations and agencies that share our vision for revitalized communities. Rural Main Streets have had no greater national ally than the USDA over the years. Through their broad array of programs, loans, grants and regional offices, USDA has fueled growth an innovation throughout the Main Street network.”
Given each year, the National Trust Main Street Center’s Main Street Leadership Award recognizes individuals or organizations that have provided strong leadership, locally or nationally, in the following ways:
· Significant, lasting contributions made to commercial district revitalization;
· Inspiring actions that can be duplicated in other communities;
· Ability to serve as a national role model or spokesperson; and
· Long-term contributions to a community's revitalization over time.
Past recipients have included a range of individuals and institutions, such as Oregon First Lady Mary J. Oberst (2009), the U.S. General Services Administration (2002), and the Savannah College of Art and Design (2003).
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.