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 29 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. CLG do not fund any “brick and mortar” projects. Grants range from $500 to $10,000 and require a 40% local match for total project cost.

Recent projects funded in the FY18 grant cycle are:

• Grant funds will allow Alabama CLGs to be represented at the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions’ conference in July.

• Grant funds will produce rehabilitation feasibility study to assist Foley's efforts to put downtown building back into use.

• Huntsville Historic Preservation Commission will manage project to document history and architectural history of Edmonton Heights, an important neighborhood associated with Alabama A&M University and Huntsville's mid-century African-American community.


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, 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.