by SAH/MDR President Diana Painter
Commemorations! Anniversaries! Celebrations! The theme of this year’s SAH/MDR conference is commemorations. I had the good fortune last summer to attend a celebratory symposium of the 100-year anniversary of the US National Park Service and the 50-year anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act in Santa Fe, NM entitled, “A Century of Design in the Parks.” I joined like-minded National Park Service employees, State Parks employees, consultants and academics to discuss and debate the future of our professional practices and the future of our parks, with a particular focus on preserving the built environment. It was a privilege to contemplate questions of conservation of natural resources and preservation of the built environment in our amazing parks resources with these colleagues. In three intense days, two tracks of investigations were explored, the enormous contribution of the Civilian Conservation Corps to our parks, and legacy of the National Park Service’s Mission 66 program. Overarching themes were also explored, such as “Assessing Climate Vulnerability in Cultural Landscapes of the Pacific Northwest” (Robert Melnick and Noah Kerr, University of Oregon) and “Landscape Processes and Cultural Resources” (Laurie Matthews, MIG, Portland).
I look forward to similarly rich discussions at our conference in Victoria, June 16-18, 2017, at the newly restored, 1863 Wentworth Villa. We will help our fellow Canadians celebrate their 150-Celebration and – I anticipate – also explore our common concerns with preserving our architectural and landscape history through research, documentation and – celebration! Victoria offers a rich environment in which to explore these topics, with its layered cultural history and beautiful buildings and parks, all in a spectacular natural setting. Please consider joining us in Victoria.
Friendly reminder – Abstracts are due March 15th for conference papers. Please remember that travel scholarships and free memberships are available to students whose papers are accepted for the conference. Visit our website for more information and the Call for Papers: http://sahmdr.org/conference.html