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Martingsburg, Harpers Ferry are Preserve America areas

November 15, 2008

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The City of Martinsburg and Town of Harpers Ferry have joined seven other West Virginia municipalities that have been designated Preserve America communities.

They were among 32 areas that were notified in a Nov. 5 letter from first lady Laura Bush of the designation, according to Bruce J. Milhans, a spokesman for the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in Washington. Bush is the honorary chair of the Preserve America initiative.

Charles Town, W.Va., Chambersburg, Pa., and Frederick, Md., are the only other Tri-State communities to previously be named since the program began in 2003, according to the initiative's Website.

"The Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau has been working very hard in conjunction with the city of Martinsburg during the last few months to prepare our application and other documentation to receive this designation," said Andrea Ball, the tourism-minded agency's leader said in a news release this week. "We are proud to accept this prestigious honor and look forward to carrying out this initiative through our work here in Martinsburg."

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Ball said the designation opens a door to grant funding that would otherwise not be accessible. In 2007, Preserve America Grants totaling nearly $5 million were awarded. Another $7 million in grants is expected to be awarded in the 2008 fiscal year, according to the CVB.

More information about Preserve America is available at www.preserveamerica.gov.

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