Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Certified Local Governments

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Throughout New York State, communities are recognizing that historic buildings, sites, and neighborhoods form the core of economically stable and attractive areas which make an important contribution to the quality of life. Many counties, cities, towns, and villages are seeking opportunities to preserve the special character of their communities and neighborhoods and integrate historic resources into planning efforts.

How do you preserve historic buildings while encouraging growth? How do you create programs that foster appropriate planning and development? Are there sources of funding for preservation activities? Participation in the Certified Local Government Program (CLG) is one way to get professional guidance and support to shape the future of your community. In New York, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) coordinates the federally-sponsored CLG Program and provides assistance to participating/member communities.

Historic preservation efforts are strongest when they begin at the local level. CLG supports and strengthens local preservation activities by assisting communities to achieve their preservation goals through the development of an action plan. Established by a 1980 amendment to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the CLG program is a nationwide initiative that directly links a community's preservation goals to state and federal preservation programs. Each State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) administers the program through a variety of services designed to help communities protect, preserve, and celebrate their historic resources. In New York State, the SHPO is within the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

CLG Program Benefits

Any city, county, town, or village can be a CLG, once the SHPO determines that it meets state and federal standards. The standards include having enacted appropriate preservation legislation and appointing a qualified preservation review commission. After being approved at the state level, applications are forwarded to the National Park Service for certification. All certified CLGs are eligible to receive a variety of services from the SHPO, including:

  • Ongoing, focused support from your SHPO;
  • Technical preservation assistance and legal advice;
  • Direct involvement in SHPO programs, such as identifying properties that may be eligible for listing in the State and National Registers of Historic Places;
  • Training opportunities that increase the ability of communities to protect their historic resources and integrate them into short- and long-term planning initiatives;
  • Grants designated exclusively for CLG projects; and
  • Membership in statewide and national CLG networks.

CLG Program Introduction Packet

CLG Program Application Information

Local Landmarker


* There are numerous publications on various preservation issues including assessing buildings and repair and restoration guides.