On July 9th, three National Trust staff members took part in Annapolis’ Weather It Together Town Hall. It was a great venue to talk with people and promote the This Place Matters campaign. The town hall was part of the public outreach effort the city is leading to engage residents, business owners and community leaders in thinking about and planning for the effects of climate change on their city. Attendees listened to presentations by the City, the National Park Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers, learned about ways to protect their properties from storms and flooding, and were introduced to financial incentives to make changes to their properties. Additional groups who participated in the town hall included the U.S. Naval Academy, the Annapolis Office of Emergency Management, Annapolis Planning & Zoning Department, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Office of Planning / Maryland Historical Trust, Historic Annapolis, and the MainStreets Annapolis Partnership.
The National Trust has been working with the City of Annapolis on efforts to make their historic landmark district more resilient. Annapolis has been leading the way by specifically incorporating the impacts to, and the needs of, cultural resources into their hazard mitigation planning for properties within the 100-year flood plain. This work will serve as a model for resiliency planning not only throughout the Chesapeake Bay region, but also nationally.Building on this effort at the city level,in coordination with the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the National Park Service (NPS), Society of American Archaeologists (SAA), and the JM Kaplan Fund, this February the National Trust convened national and international cultural heritage leaders to develop a Call to Action for Climate Impacts + Cultural Heritage.More than thirty cultural heritage leaders met at the Pocantico Conference Center in Tarrytown, NY, to discuss the urgent issue of current and future climate impacts on historic places. One major outcome of the convening was the Call to Action on Climate Impacts and Cultural Heritage. Stephanie Meeks has already added her name – as president and CEO of NTHP – to include the National Trust as one of the organizational signatories.
To add your name or organization to the Call to Action, please visit http://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/solutions/pocantico-call-action-climate-impacts-and-cultural-heritage.
On Thursday, October 23, 2014, National Trust President Stephanie Meeks and the City of Annapolis officially announced Annapolis as a National Treasure. About 40 people gathered at the Susan B. Campbell Park at the end of City Dock for the announcement.
Fittingly for a treasure chosen to highlight the impacts of changing weather patterns on historic resources, as one walked or drove to the park and passed the harbor master’s building, a sign out front cautioned “High Water” following the previous day’s storm.
Speaker of the House Mike Busch, Mayor Mike Pantiledes, Senator John Astle, and Chief of Historic Preservation / MainStreets Annapolis Partnership Director Lisa Craig joined Stephanie Meeks in making remarks. Stephanie also made a check presentation to the MainStreets Annapolis Partnership for the $5,000 grant they received to help with the public engagement portion of the City’s hazard mitigation planning.
National Trust Advisors Louise Lake-Hayman and Grant Dehart attended, as well as members of the City’s Hazard Mitigation Planning Team, media outlets, National Trust staff, city leaders, and residents.
We hope that through this Treasure we can raise national awareness of the threats posed to cultural resources by climate change and also hold Annapolis up as a model for other communities on how to integrate cultural resources into hazard mitigation planning.
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