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Preservation work at Monongahela National Forest wins 2018 Heritage Tourism Award

WEST VIRGINIA – The Appalachian Forest Heritage Area’s Hands-On Preservation Team, HistoriCorps and Monongahela National Forest were awarded the 2018 Heritage Tourism Award by the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia for their work to preserve and reuse the historic Red Oak Fire Tower in Webster County.

The award was presented at the Tenth Annual Historic Preservation Awards Banquet at the Blennerhassett Hotel in Parkersburg, September 21.

“This specialized preservation work could not have been completed without HistoriCorps and the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area’s Hands-On Preservation Team,” said Gavin Hale, Heritage Program Manager for Monongahela National Forest. “Their involvement was essential to the project and we are thrilled that they have been recognized for their hard work this summer.”

The Red Oak Fire Tower project was recognized in part because it is the result of a unique collaboration among partners and will result in enhanced tourism opportunities in West Virginia. The partnership empowers young AmeriCorps members to use their training and experience to assist rural communities and engage with the public throughout West Virginia.

The tower will be available for the public to rent for recreational use in spring 2019.

The Hands-On Preservation Team is made up of AmeriCorps service members that focus on preservation, cultural heritage, conservation and place-based tourism to support rural community development in West Virginia. The mission of HistoriCorps is to save and sustain historic places for public benefit through partnerships that foster public involvement, engage volunteers and provide training and education.

Follow the link to learn more about the 2018 Historic Preservation awards and watch video interviews with award recipients.


Representatives from the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area, HistoriCorps and Monongahela National Forest accepted the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia’s 2018 Heritage Tourism Award September 21 at the historic Blennerhassett Hotel in Parkersburg. From left, Sarah Heuer – AFHA Hands-On Team Supervisor, Molly Greenhouse – AFHA AmeriCorps Member, Andrew Waddell – AFHA AmeriCorps Member, Meredith Dreistadt – AFHA AmeriCorps Member, Owen Peet – AFHA AmeriCorps Member, Danielle Parker – PAWV Executive Director, John Bales – HistoriCorps Supervisor, Gavin Hale – MNF Heritage Program Manager, Jason Whitehead – HistoriCorps Operations Manager. Photo courtesy of Kyle Bailey, Preservation Alliance of West Virginia.