Local governments strengthen their local historic preservation efforts by achieving Certified Local Government (CLG) status from the National Park Service (NPS).

NPS and State governments, through their State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs), provide valuable technical assistance and small matching grants to hundreds of diverse communities whose local governments are endeavoring to keep for future generations what is significant from their community's past. In turn, NPS and States gain the benefit of local government partnership in the national historic preservation program.

Another incentive for participating in the CLG program is the pool of matching grant funds SHPOs set aside to fund CLG historic preservation sub-grant projects--at least 10% of the State's annual Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) grant allocation. Grant funds are distributed through the HPF grant program, administered by NPS and SHPOs.  

Currently, Alabama has 34 Certified Local Governments (CLGs), which are cities with locally established historic preservation commissions meeting AHC and NPS standards. These communities put a priority on identifying, protecting and promoting their historic places. Many of these cities place special regulations on development in their historic neighborhoods and downtowns. They host events and presentations to educate people on historic preservation practices and issues. Local commission members attend state and national training to learn about programs to assist with community development efforts. City governments rely on commission members to help with rehabilitation projects for important community buildings and public spaces. They also support publications and website resources to promote tourism, business development and reinvestment in historic districts. CLGs can compete for annual grant funds to assist with these activities.



The CLG program was established in 1983 by the National Park Service in response to the 1980 amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. These amendments recognized the value of local preservation programs and created a partnership between the NPS, state historic preservation offices, and local governments with an active preservation program. Together these groups work toward high quality survey documentation of resources throughout the community, training local preservation commission members, and public involvement. CLGs can compete for annual matching grants provided by the AHC to assist with preservation planning and documentation projects, and "brick and mortar" projects. Grants range from $500 to $24,000 and require a 40% local match for total project cost.


Recently funded projects awarded for the FY22 year include:

  • Bessemer - Resurvey of the Downtown Bessemer Historic District

  • Decatur - Revision of Design Guidelines 

  • Foley - Training presented by the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions

  • Huntsville - Prepare National Register nominations for Terry Heights and Whitesburg Estates neighborhoods 

  • Homewood - Development of an educational app  

  • Montgomery - Training presented by the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions

  • Prattville - Resurvey of the Daniel Pratt Historic District

  • Selma - Staffing

  • Dothan - Revision of Design Guidelines

  • Mobile - Staffing


    Past funded projects include:

    • Decatur - Host a workshop on window restoration

    • Attendance to the National Alliance of Preservation Commission FORUM conference

    • Staffing

    • Foley - Children's Educational Walking Tour Booklet and Walking Tour phone app

    • Decatur - Educational Booklet awarded the National Alliance of Preservation Commission's 2022 Communities of Excellence Award in the category of Best Practices: Public Outreach and Advocacy

    • Prattville - Revision to Design Guidelines

    • National Register nominations and nomination updates

    • Maritime Studies


    We are now accepting CLG Grant applications for the 2024 Fiscal Year. We are offering “bricks and mortar” grants again this year. If applying for a “bricks and mortar” grant, a Historic Structures Report must be completed prior to applying. Priority will be given to applications submitted by May 30, 2024. Applications are due June 15, 2024.

    Beginning in 2024, the AHC will require CLGs to complete the application form in the online platform Submittable. This is free to use, but it will require applicants to create a FREE account. Please click HERE and choose the appropriate tab. This is where all documentation will be uploaded for the CLG application.

    For more information please contact Paige Thomas, CLG Coordinator, at Paige.Thomas@ahc.alabama.gov or 334-230-2643.



The Alabama Historical Commission developed the Annual Report Assessment to evaluate a Certified Local Government’s performance over the past fiscal year. Each CLG is required to submit an annual report to both the AHC and its mayor. The report asks several questions on items such as new appointments to the city’s historic preservation commission, members’ attendance records, minutes of meetings held, new historic designations, and if applicable, types of design cases reviewed. The assessment is to assist CLGs in maintaining their CLG status. For a presentation on the annual report, please click here.  

Beginning this year, the AHC will require CLGs to complete the Assessment form in the online platform “Submittable.” This is free to use but it will require the person filling out the form to create an account. The report will be due on February 1, 2024. Please click the link below and choose the appropriate tab. You will then be guided to answer a series of questions. It will prompt you to upload supporting documents if necessary.


CLG programs have many partners at the national, state and local level. The National Park Service, National Alliance of Preservation Commissions, and National Trust for Historic Preservation provide educational resources and technical assistance. The Alabama Historical Commission is the State Historic Preservation Office and is the first contact on information about becoming a CLG. The AHC also manages and promotes the CLG program and CLG grant program. Other state partners include Alabama Communities of Excellence, Your Town Alabama, Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation, Alabama Association of Historians, and Main Street Alabama. These organizations provide community development assistance and training with a focus on historic places. Local partners are the most important and include city government, local or county historical societies, downtown organizations, neighborhood organizations, and planning commission. We encourage CLGs to involve the public in their work so we are able to document and protect all of your community’s history.