Flagler County, FL (May 3, 2021) Fielding a variety of questions from commissioners on the dais, Jenny Wolfe, vice president for the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation was on hand to celebrate the proclamation from Flagler County declaring May as National Historic Preservation Month, presented by Flagler County Commissioner Andy Dance.
Joined by members of the northeast Florida regional council for which Wolfe chairs as the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation Region 3 Council Ambassador, it was an acknowledgement of the deep roots Flagler County has in history and an opportunity to highlight the relationship between historic preservation and tourism.
“This is huge because this is a way you can bring in your local leadership and just make them aware. The fact that there was a presentation today on tourism and to be able to say that heritage resources are part of that tourism, helps them really connect the dots,” she said.
Providing fact-based data from a recent national study on the impact of historic preservation in the City of St. Augustine where Wolfe serves as the city’s historic preservation officer, the number had people doing a double take.
“In St. Augustine we did a study with a nationally known economist and we found that St. Augustine’s heritage resources attributes $2.9 billion dollars in economic value, and that’s with a b – for billion,” she said.
“If you were to increase access and visual connection to heritage tourism, you’re going to draw a different type of tourist. You’re going to attract tourists that stay longer, play longer, because that’s who heritage tourists are. They want to find unique historic places that they haven’t been to before and that’s your travel market.”
Sharing information about grants available to assist in historic preservation efforts and a tool kit in hand for the county’s media team, Wolfe was pleased by the interest and show of support exhibited by the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners.
“This is an opportunity for us to collaborate and work more together,” said Wolfe.
Helping to facilitate the proclamation, Flagler County administrator Jerry Cameron noted the importance of recognizing history and preserving it.
“I think that this county is all about history,” said Cameron. “We have a lot of it and we’re recognizing it in a number of different areas, and to have an annual reminder is very important.”
For those interested in learning more about history and historic preservation, Wolfe said there’s an easy way to get started.
“What you can do is make a list of your favorite restaurants that are in old buildings, and go to them, learn more about them, and what is the food heritage, as well,” she said. “Tag Florida Trust and historic preservation month with that photo, and we’ll happily connect it to the Florida Trust.”
Missing the proclamation after the passing of his father on Sunday, Flagler County Historical Society president Ed Siarkowicz appreciated the recent momentum behind historic preservation in Flagler County.
“I see today’s proclamation as a launching point of agreement between local history groups, county government and state agencies that acknowledges the importance of history education and preservation. The lessons of the past guide our future.”
Florida Trust for Historic Preservation Council Region 3
Ambassador – Jenny Wolfe, St. Augustine
Salvatore Cumella, Fernandina Beach
Mercedes Harrold, St. Johns County
Ennis Davis, Jacksonville
Lisa Sheppard, Jacksonville
Jason Ellerbee, Jacksonville
Mischa Johns, Putnam County
Danielle Anderson, Flagler County (A1A Scenic & Historic Coastal Byway)
Ed Siarkowicz, Flagler County (Flagler County Historical Society)
Florida Trust Upcoming Events 2021:
-An Evening of Celebration with the Lincolnville
Museum and Cultural Center, May 21
-St. Augustine Walking Tour, May 22
-Free and Enslaved: Black Society in Spanish
Florida, LMCC May 27
-Preservation on Main Street at New Port Richey
“Reimagining the Road Ahead July 21-23
-Cross Florida Rail Excursion, September 25-27
-Key West Insider Tour, October 16-18
Featured Photo: Flagler County Commissioners David Sullivan, Vice Chair Joe Mullins, Chair Donald O’Brien, Greg Hansen, and Andy Dance. Front row: James Fiske obo Ed Siarkowicz, Danielle Anderson, Jenny Wolfe Florida Trust for Historic Preservation Vice President, Regional Council 3 Ambassador, and Preston Zepp.