In celebration of May is National Historic Preservation Month, the City of Springfield invites community members to submit nominations for the 2023 Springfield Heritage Awards, a program to recognize significant achievements in stewardship of the physical and cultural heritage of the geographic area we now call Springfield, Oregon. The deadline for nominations has been extended to 5 pm, June 23. The nominations will be accepted online, and packets may be found at https://springfield-or.gov/springfield-heritage-awards/.
Presented by the Springfield Historic Commission and the Springfield History Museum, these awards recognize a broad array of stewardship activities that increase awareness, appreciation, and support an inclusive perspective of local heritage. There are two award categories. The “Preservation Excellence Award” celebrates outstanding projects of many types including historic preservation, historical research, and community outreach. The “History Maker Award” celebrates a person or entity that demonstrates leadership in shaping, preserving, and fostering appreciation of local heritage – past, present, and future. Up to three awards per category may be presented each year.
The Springfield Historic Commission and the Springfield History Museum Committee collaborated in 2022 to launch the Springfield Heritage Awards program. Both groups are comprised of volunteers appointed by the City Council.
“The awards program is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the hard work and ingenuity of folks in this community who explore, study, and preserve Springfield’s history,” said Commissioner Charlotte Helmer, who is also a member of the awards subcommittee. “The award categories are broadly inclusive, reflecting our belief that historic preservation is about much more than permits. We look forward to celebrating people and heritage projects that are making meaningful contributions in the present day.”
Award recipients will be selected by Mayor Sean VanGordon, with input from a jury that includes representatives of the Historic Commission, the History Museum Committee, past award recipients, and members of the community selected by the Mayor. Anyone who wishes to serve on the Springfield Heritage Award jury or has questions is invited to contact Historic Commission Staff Liaison Tom Sievers, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541.726.2333.
Background: The Springfield Heritage Awards program was kicked off in 2022, with the presentation of two History Maker Awards and three Preservation Excellence Awards, handed out by Mayor Sean VanGordon at the September 19, 2022, City Council Meeting. An honorary recognition was also posthumously awarded to Bruce Berg, previous City Councilor and Chair of the Historic Commission who provided decades of service to the Springfield community and passed away on February 16, 2022.
The Springfield History Museum, established in 1979, serves a mission to foster an awareness of the history of Springfield, provide a link between our past and present, and promote an appreciation of the diverse communities that call Springfield and rural east Lane County home. It is the City’s official historical repository and interpretive center. The museum collects and cares for stories and artifacts, creates thoughtful and engaging programs and exhibits, and encourages historical research and documentation.
Established in 1977, the Springfield Historic Commission serves to advance the identification, protection, preservation, education, and interpretation of Springfield’s cultural heritage and history. As such, the Historic Commission organizes projects and programs to encourage stewardship of the community’s historic assets.