Chimney Rock earns national recognition

Chimney Rock Interpretive Association Inc. (CRIA) has been named a Preserve America Steward for 2009.

CRIA is a local volunteer organization dedicated to the interpretation and preservation of Chimney Rock Archaeological Area located on Colo. 151, south of Pagosa Springs. During their season, May 15 through Sept. 30, they offer guided tours of the site as well as archaeoastronomy programs, astronomy programs and an ancient pottery techniques workshop.

The Preserve America Stewards Program, part of the Preserve America Initiative launched in 2003 by then president and first lady George and Laura Bush, recognizes programs at the state, local, tribal or regional level that have demonstrated a successful use of volunteer time and commitment in order to help care for our cultural heritage. It is administered by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management. To be designated, applicants must demonstrate that their programs:

1. Encourage individuals, families, non-governmental organizations and businesses to get involved in preserving and promoting our heritage in a direct and tangible way.

2. Fill a significant need in heritage preservation and education through the use of volunteers of all backgrounds, levels of commitment and abilities.

3. Demonstrate innovative and creative use of volunteer assistance in areas such as youth involvement, volunteer training, public education and public/private partnerships.

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Chairman John L. Nau III said, “The Preserve America Stewards Program is a key component of the initiative which recognizes the efforts of citizens across the country who are providing an invaluable service in helping preserve our nation’s historical and natural assets.”