Nicholas Redding, Executive Director of Preservation Maryland at South Mountain Battlefield, October 2020.

From The Desk of Nicholas Redding: The Stakes Have Simply Never Been Higher

11/16/2020
By Nicholas A. Redding

I am reaching out to my fellow Marylanders today, to ask for your support at a time when our organization needs you most – and when our work is as relevant as ever.

2020 may be remembered as a painful and challenging year – but it also may be remembered as a year when Americans acknowledged that history still desperately matters.

It’s no secret that we are living through an unprecedented moment in time; a virulent pandemic; partisan gridlock and conflict; a reckoning with our past and the legacy of our heritage. Central to these challenges and opportunities which we confront is the value, significance, and power of history.

The stakes have simply never been higher.

Organizations like Preservation Maryland aren’t just preserving the past – we’re investing in our future. In just the past year we’ve invested heavily in our work and refused to accept the mounting challenges as a reason to retreat or hold our position.

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Over the past 12 months, your generosity has:

Jonathan Street archaeology project partners, 2020.

Jonathan Street archaeology project partners, 2020.

REVOLVING FUND PURCHASE

Supported the purchase of a historic ca. 1830s log cabin in the Jonathan Street neighborhood of Hagerstown – a building rich in African American history and imminently threatened with demolition. Now, the “little cabin that could” is jumpstarting a broader revitalization discussion and proving the power of preservation.


southway-builders-hebrew-orphan-asylum-tour-no-date-CREDIT-southway-builders

Southway Builders at Hebrew Orphan Asylum rehabilitation project in Baltimore, MD.

ACCESS TO TRADES TRAINING

Accelerated historic trades training at a moment when America needs every workforce development opportunity available. Not since the Great Depression, have we seen unemployment figures on par with those of 2020 – and many jobs will never return. Skilled trades work is in high demand and we are working with our colleagues in the National Park Service to train young adults and veterans to become the next generation to care for our irreplaceable heritage.


LAND CONSERVATION & SMART GROWTH VICTORIES

Fueled major smart growth victories – in Frederick County, Smart Growth Maryland organized an effort to overhaul the local forest conservation act – and in the process secured some of the strongest new historic preservation regulations in any county – thereby shaping the future and saving the past. In Charles County, Smart Growth Maryland is also helping to push back against alarming efforts to undermine local planning– and in doing so, we’re working to save the county’s rich agricultural history and timeless landscapes.


Bill sponsor Delegate Stephanie Smith (center) with historic tax credit hearing panel.

Bill sponsor Delegate Stephanie Smith (center) with historic tax credit hearing panel.

PRESERVATION INCENTIVES STRENGTHED WITH LEGISLATION

Powered the passage of landmark historic tax credit legislation in Annapolis which makes the state credit easier and more cost-effective to use – which will result in the completion of more projects and more historic places saved. Additionally, advocacy efforts in Annapolis secured nearly $800,000 in direct support for Six-to-Fix projects across the state – from Baltimore City to Washington County.

 


Baltimore City Historic Preservation Fund award to CASA de Maryland, 2020.

GRANT MAKING ACROSS MARYLAND

Sustained grantmaking to projects across the state – delivering nearly $150,000 worth of grants to projects in every region of Maryland. Collectively, these funds are making preservation possible and provide direct and lasting support to the places which make the state unique. From the brackish bay to the piney foothills of western Maryland, our grant programs are investing in countless communities.


THE VOICE OF A GROWING MOVEMENT

Funded the production of PreserveCast, America’s most-downloaded preservation podcast – a weekly podcast produced by Preservation Maryland and hosted by Executive Director Nicholas Redding. The podcast puts the organization at the center of important conversations and is building a bigger tent for preservation.



If you can believe it…these are just the highlights – and they barely scratch the surface of the ongoing, day-to-day investment Preservation Maryland is making in our state’s heritage.

But – trust me as I say this – we simply cannot rest on our past victories. The future demands action – and with your support, we will make 2021 a year to celebrate.

MAKE A GIFT TO OUR ANNUAL FUND TODAY

Nicholas A. Redding · Executive Director

Nicholas A. Redding is Preservation Maryland’s Executive Director and between announcing major organizational updates, he often blogs about Maryland and Civil War history.

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