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Commission earns respect for efforts

Kudos to the Denton County Historical Commission on being recognized for its preservation efforts by the state.

Earning the respect of your peers is a key measure of success, and we’d say that the Texas Historical Commission’s decision to honor the county at the Denton County Commissioners Court meeting today is worthy of congratulations.

The recognition is for preservation efforts in 2013, and state officials praised the county for the consistency and quality of its programs.

“We specifically appreciate their attention to working with their county government to make preservation a big part of what the county values,” said Amy Hammons, county historical commissioner outreach coordinator for the state agency.

The local commission’s accomplishments in 2013 included an archaeology fair, “Life on the Prairie,” with artifacts from the Taylor Farm and an oral history by Foy Taylor that documented life on the homestead.

Other noteworthy projects included the first Denton County History Contest, which generated essays by students from elementary school through college, and completion of the Historical Park Welcome Center. The commission also dedicated several historical markers.

Hammons said the Denton County commission is good at developing relationships with officials and the community and praised the organization for its positive attitude when working with the public.

Denton County is one of a few Texas counties with a paid liaison who helps the historical commission do its work, allowing it to perform at a higher level and to be taken more seriously in the community.

Denton County Commissioner Andy Eads said the distinguished service award from the state is a report card on the volunteers, programs and education and preservation efforts in the county.

Volunteers not only work hard to save our collective history, Eads said, but they also save Denton County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars through their generous donation of time and talent.

Taxpayer savings are not the only economic benefits of historical preservation efforts, Hammons pointed out. By serving as a positive force for preservation in the state, the Denton County Historical Commission helps spread the word on ways preservation can lead to economic development and tourism.

It has become abundantly clear through the years that historical preservation efforts can have far-reaching benefits, and we appreciate the efforts of all who contribute to our county’s projects and programs.

Pride in the past can help build a brighter economic future.