Welcome to the audio-described version of Certified Local Government, or CLG, Program official print brochure from the State, Tribal, Local, Plans and Grants Division of the National Park Service. This audio version interprets the two-sided color brochure, which outlines the purpose of this long standing, community-based historic preservation program. The brochure explores how Certified Local Governments operate, the steps it takes to become a CLG, and the access to financial aid that can come with being part of the CLG Program. The brochure contains text describing the program, along with photos from CLGs nationwide, and a map of the United States showing the location of CLGs and National Park sites. This audio version lasts approximately 12 minutes which we have divided into 16 sections, as a way to improve the listening experience.
Certified Local Governments are communities who have chosen to become preservation partners with the National Park Service in order to help preserve and protect their local historic resources. Please explore this brochure to learn more about this partnership program and how the National Park Service collaborates with thousands of communities across the country.
The front of the brochure describes the Certified Local Government Program, how CLGs receive funding, and the positive impacts that come with choosing to participate in the Certified Local Government Program.
The top of the brochure is a horizontal landscape image. The focal point of the image is a large clock tower on the edge of a body of water on the far-left side of the image. A cement bridge passes over the water to the foot of the clock tower. Across the center of the image is a mix of conifers and deciduous trees. Their leaves are a mixture of green, yellow, orange and red. There is a large group of willows near the base of the tower along the water line. At the center of the image is a green patch of grass which is separated from the edge of the water by small bushes. In the distance tall trees obscure a rounded triangular building. The sky is light blue. On the left side of the image the clouds are closer to a purple than white, to the right the clouds are dense and gray in color.
CAPTION: Clock tower in Spokane, Washington.
The image that is set behind the text is a small portion of a larger map of Certified Local Governments nationwide. This portion contains states from the Upper Midwest United States. Throughout the map are small blue and green shaded polygons representing Certified Local Governments and Federal lands.
What is a Certified Local Government?
Across the nation, thousands of diverse communities have taken action to preserve their unique historic character. The Certified Local Government (CLG) Program is the official preservation partnership connecting local, state, and Federal governments to help communities save their irreplaceable historic resources. Through the certification process, communities make a local commitment to historic preservation. This commitment is key to America’s ability to preserve, protect, and increase awareness of our unique cultural heritage across the country.
This national initiative provides valuable technical assistance and funding to local governments seeking to preserve what is special about their community. Annually the U.S. Congress appropriates funds from the Historic Preservation Fund to support preservation at the State, Tribal, and Local level. The National Park Service (NPS) and the State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO) administer funds in each state and distribute those allocated to CLGs.
The CLG Program has helped to build preservation support at the local level where hands-on protection of local resources occurs. Because local planning office staff often play key roles in CLG projects, the thread of historic preservation becomes woven into the fabric of local land-use policy. Strong preservation partnerships have been forged among the local, state, and national networks.
Today, CLG grants from the Historic Preservation Fund support a wide range of projects, including building rehabilitation and feasibility studies, design guidelines and conservation district ordinances, and many kinds of public preservation education.
Left of the text is an image of two men repairing a wooden window frame. Both men are wearing work clothes. The man in the foreground is leaning over a wooden table with a paint brush painting the bottom part of the window frame white. The second man is on the other side of the table holding the frame with one hand and a tool that is secured onto the table in another. This man has a tool belt on. At the bottom of the frame is a pile of wood dust with an electric sander on top of the pile. Behind the two men is another group of people at a worktable. There are tools and craft materials in the background.
CAPTION: CLG funded Window rehabilitation training in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Being a CLG demonstrates a community’s commitment to saving what is important from the past for future generations. As a certified community, it becomes easy to demonstrate a readiness to take on successful preservation projects. A local government benefits from becoming certified by establishing a working relationship with SHPO staff and joining a wider historic preservation community. Becoming a CLG opens doors for funding, technical assistance, and maintaining a viable community.
States receive annual appropriations from the Historic Preservation Fund and are required to give at least 10% of their funding to CLGs as subgrants. These grants can fund a wide variety of projects, including surveys, nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, rehabilitation work, design guidelines, educational programs, training, structural assessments, feasibility studies, and more.
As a CLG, a community has direct access to SHPO staff through a designated CLG coordinator. CLGs receive assistance with their commission, building assessments, surveys, and nominations, and general preservation assistance. State staff and NPS offer training for CLGs as well.
Historic preservation has proven economic, environmental, and social benefits. Studies show that historic districts have higher property values, less population decline, more walkability, and a greater sense of community.
At the bottom half of the page below the text is an image of a historic downtown roof line. The roof line descends in a diagonal from the right to left until only the top of the building can be seen on the left. The three buildings to the right are almost identical except for the exterior colors. From right to left, the brick buildings are red, tan, blue, and then red again. The right three buildings have three windows facing out. The bases and tops of all the windows are made from stone with flat bases and tops constructed with rounded segmental arches.
CAPTION: Rogers, Arkansas.
The back side of the brochure provides information on how to become a Certified Local Government, a timeline of the history of the program, and a map of the United States showing locations of Certified Local Governments and National Park sites.
More than half of the backside of the brochure displays a map of the United States of America showing locations of CLGs and National Park sites throughout the country. The map is separated into two different colors, blue which stands for CLG locations and green for National Park sites. Alaska and Hawaii are located to the left of the United States not connected. Alaska has both blue and green on the top and bottom of the state. Whereas Hawaii is completely covered with blue and green except for Oahu. There are large clusters of CLGs identified in the west with a largest portion of CLGs covering Utah, followed by Wyoming and then Idaho. Both parks and CLGs pepper the Eastern Seaboard. There are hardly any CLGs in the midwestern states, though there are a noticeable number in Iowa. The states with the fewest include Nebraska and Nevada. Throughout the map, there are more CLGs than National Park sites.
CAPTION: Map of CLGs and NPS sites in 2019.
There are thousands of CLGs across the country. They come in all shapes and sizes, exist in all fifty states, and many of them are gateways to National Park sites. A gateway community is any municipality that is located within 60 miles of a National Park site. Partnerships between gateway CLGs and National Parks affords mutual opportunities for community planning and development according to local historic preservation needs.
The CLG Program has been supporting local preservation efforts since its inception in 1980. The program is supported by the Historic Preservation Fund, which was established to help fund preservation grant programs created by the National Historic Preservation Act.
CLGs must meet the following requirements:
TIMELINE (with markers for 1900, 1920, 1940, 1960, 1980, 2000, and 2020):
1906 – Antiquities Act is passed by Congress. It is the first national preservation law.
1916 – The National Park Service is established.
1931 – Charleston, South Carolina is the first locally protected historic district.
1935 – Historic Sites Act is passed by Congress to preserve historic sites, buildings, and objects of national significance.
1949 – National Trust for Historic Preservation is chartered by Congress.
1966 – National Historic Preservation Act is enacted. It is the foundation of federal preservation efforts.
1976 – Historic Preservation Fund is authorized by Congress.
1980 – National Main Street Center is established.
1980 – Certified Local Government Program is established.
1983 – The National Alliance of Preservation Commissions is established.
1985 – The first CLGs are certified.
2003 – Preserve America, the White House initiative for local preservation, is created.
2016 – The National Park Service celebrates its centennial and 1,966 CLGs.
For more information or to learn more about being a CLG, visit go.nps.gov/clg.