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Partners in the Field Program

About the Partners in the Field Program

The Partners in the Field Program is a collaborative grant program between the National Trust for Historic Preservation and state and local partners across the United States, including Preservation Virginia. The program was created to expand preservation services by having boots-on-the-ground field representatives working with local organizations and individuals on important historic preservation issues.   
Preservation Virginia’s Partners in the Field Representative works to find solutions for the long-term sustainability for important historic places in communities by offering expertise and providing access to the resources of Preservation Virginia, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and other like organizations.  The program directly supports Preservation Virginia’s mission to preserve, promote, and serve as an advocate for the state’s irreplaceable historic places for the cultural, economic and educational benefits of everyone.  By empowering local communities with solutions, we are growing a movement that will help protect and sustain historic places.

What Services and Assistance Does the Partners in the Field Representative Offer?

The Partners in the Field Representative works with local organizations and individuals to offer strategy and support on preservation issues such as endangered sites or neighborhoods, and is on-hand to provide letters of support or speak at various commission or council meetings. The Partners in the Field Representative also offers technical assistance on preservation topics such as historic tax credits, establishing historic districts, listing on the state and national registers and finding funding for preservation projects.
The PIF Representative also acts as an agent to help link and network people and organizations to other like-minded organizations and preservation resources across the state and acts as Preservation Virginia’s representative in preservation-related coalitions and partnerships.
A key part of the PIF Representative position deals with educating the public and advocating for historic preservation by making site visits, speaking at events, disseminating data on important preservation topics such as architectural review boards, rural heritage protection, and heritage tourism, and working with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources on workshops and conferences.

The Partners in the Field Program's Record of Achievement

Since October 2008, the Partners in the Field Program has provided technical support and strategy to over 100 individuals, organizations and communities on protecting many historic structures, neighborhoods and view sheds and made presentations to more than 40 community groups and governmental agencies.  Some of the more notable projects include the following:
Abandoned historic cemeteries were nominated to Preservation Virginia’s 2010 Endangered List. The nomination, in conjunction with the Department of Historic Resources’ Cemetery Preservation Workshops, helped to raise awareness on the importance of recording and protecting historic cemeteries. The Field Representative has visited and worked with numerous people and organizations concerning cemeteries and ways to record and protect abandoned cemeteries.
Cemetery Project
African-American Heritage
The Field Representative has worked with many African-American organizations and individuals to protect African-American historic sites in Virginia.  Some of these projects include rural African-American Communities in Amherst County, the Holbrook-Ross Historic District in Danville, African-American and slave-related cemeteries across the state, several schools such as Carver School in Alexandria, Cornland School in Chesapeake and Hillsboro School in Albemarle County, and private houses such as Springfield in Gloucester County and Thomas Day houses in Southside.  
African-American Heritage Project
Architectural Review Boards Project
The Partners in the Field Representative undertook a project in 2010 with Preservation Virginia intern, Drew Gruber, to study all Architectural Review Boards/Commissions across the state. An online survey was sent to all ARBs to ascertain strengths and weaknesses in an attempt to develop a set of recommendations to improve the effectiveness of ARBs across the state. The final report will be complete in 2011 and will be presented at the annual conference in Winchester. The study will also be made available online. It is anticipated that this study can be utilized not only in Virginia, but by Architectural Review Boards across the country.
Architectural Review Boards Project

How You Can Help the Partners in the Field Program?

The Partners in the Field Program needs your support. The initial grant cycle will end October 2011 and at that time, Preservation Virginia must supply full funding to sustain the Partners in the Field position in Virginia. By becoming a member or donating to Preservation Virginia, your support will greatly assist us in keeping this program functioning in Virginia.

How Can I Contact the Partners In the Field Representative?

Sonja Ingram, Field Representative
767 Main Street
P.O. Box 3542
Danville, VA 24543
Phone: 804-551-3249 or 434-770-1209