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Local preservation commissions at CAMP this Friday

November 11, 2009

We’re looking forward to the annual CAMP for local preservation commissions and their staffs this Friday in Madison.  No, no tenting at the Morristown National Historical Park, no need for bug spray, no campfires (well there might actually be those!).  PNJ sponsors each year, along with the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions, a day long, intensive but fun training session called Commission Assistance and Mentoring Program (CAMP) for local preservation leaders.

It’s at the local level where preservation gets done, especially in the communities in New Jersey with preservation ordinances and commissions (or boards, committees or whatever they’re called), who save the buildings from being torn down, encourage property owners to make good and sustainable decisions, prevent demolition by neglect, make sure new construction fits in but doesn’t look like it was always there, maintain an up-to-date historic resources inventory, and keep their eyes on stuff that isn’t designated, but could be.  They have to do all this – as community volunteers! – while providing proactive public education and always-helpful customer service.

In this time of reduced economic resources and growing commitment to sustainability, it’s more imperative than ever that preservation commissions genuinely offer expertise and advice to homeowners.  Far better to be the energy-saving and money-saving experts than the “taste” experts!

(Thanks to Drane Wilkinson & NAPC)

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