Preservation requires a wide variety of financial and technical resources to save historic places. The availability of those resources was the focus of a wide-ranging report issued by the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT), the state agency charged with overseeing historic preservation activities.

During the 2016 session of the Maryland General Assembly, Preservation Maryland worked to insert budget language that would help quantify the need for preservation funding across the state. The budget language required that the,“Maryland Department of Planning work with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and preservation advocates to identify the need and demand for preservation, survey, and museum (operating and capital) grant funding and future plans to address these statewide needs in a report.”

Released on October 17, 2016, this MHT report to the Joint Chairmen is the first big step towards restoring funding to the agency’s preservation grant fund.

The report includes the following important recommendations:

  • Restore funding to the MHT Grant Fund as soon as possible,
  • Explore diversification of funding streams for the MHT Grant Fund,
  • Target state support for threatened and under-served resources,
  • Support research and survey needs of the state,
  • Partner with organizations to streamline delivery of state funding, and
  • Expand access to existing funding programs to include the needs of historic and cultural museums.

Preservation Maryland enthusiastically supports the implementation of these recommendations and is currently advocating for a total of $1.5 million in the FY18 state budget to support the MHT grant program.