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Preserving and Restoring Historic Buildings

by Jill O.

The greenest building is the one that already exists." The US Forest Service has hosted a volunteer historic preservation program called "Passport in Time" since 1989. Volunteers work with professional archaeologists and preservationists to restore historic buildings for continued use. Not only does this save buildings, it engages communities and fosters civic pride in their history.

Over 30,000 Passport in Time volunteers have contributed time and energy valued at $22 million. Most describe it as a "chance of a lifetime." When I get depressed about the slow moving FS bureaucracy, I talk to one of these volunteers and realize how incredibly dedicated they are, how much they have done for local communities, and how important it is that we continue to engage them. Passport in Time (PIT) is the most important contribution of my career to serving my country, but it is the thousands of dedicated PIT volunteers who have done the hard work all across the nation in service to their national forests and their country.

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