For the last eighty-eight years, Preservation Maryland has been at the forefront of efforts to preserve Maryland’s historic buildings and landscapes. The non-profit organization’s contributions to the field of heritage conservation were recently recognized by the J.M. Kaplan Fund, which awarded Preservation Maryland its J.M.K. Innovation Prize.
The J.M.K. Innovation Prize goes to ten organizations throughout the country that are creating innovative solutions to issues related to environmental and heritage conservation. Each winner is given $175,000 over the course of three years and access to the fund’s resource network.
The fund awarded the prize to Preservation Maryland for its Campaign for Historic Trades. The campaign, a partnership with the National Parks Service unit in Frederick, trains people in historic trades by having them work in national parks across the country. Students in the program learn skills such as masonry, frame carpentry, roofing, and painting all using traditional materials and techniques. Executive director of Preservation Maryland Nicholas Redding described the program as being focused on, “preserving those traditional trades and the ability to rehabilitate historic structures using the skills, methods, and techniques that have been employed for hundreds of years but are quickly being lost as society focuses more on new build construction.”
Judges for the J.M.K. Innovation Prize applauded the Campaign’s use of existing infrastructure and it’s contributions to issues related to diversity, economics, and education.