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APA Announces Preservation Planning Contest for High Schoolers

If your high school student is a burgeoning planner or
preservationist, take note! 

Did you know that 2009 marks the 100th year of the American
planning movement?  To celebrate
this milestone, the American Planning Association is giving high school
students the opportunity to win one of two $5,000 scholarships or ten $100 gift
certificates with a preservation-themed essay contest. 

Students are invited to develop a historic preservation plan
to preserve “the most significant historic areas, buildings, elements, and
features” of their communities, and then submit an essay detailing that plan.  Detailed instructions on how to
participate in the essay contest can be found on the APA’s website(,
and the deadline for entry is January 15, 2009. 

Buffalo Rising regularly covers planning and preservation
issues, so students who tune in regularly will already be in the right frame of
mind.  Here are just a few of many Buffalo
Rising articles covering preservation and planning: 


UB Plans for

BOA: Your Input Is Sought On

Black Rock Canal Park – APA Award Winner

Finalized: Richardson Park Proposal

Paul Rudolph Plan



Historic Preservation: We’ll take a cup of kindness yet

Columbus Park-Prospect Hill Lands On ‘7 To Save’ List

Preservation Buffalo Niagara Is Born

Move to Save? St. Gerard Georgia-Bound?

Roberta Lane on Buffalo Preservation


In the last of these articles, Roberta Lane of the National
Trust for Historic Preservation remarks on the high level of interest in
Buffalo in planning and preservation: In Buffalo,
people from all walks of life are involved.
 In the media, in blogs, etc., there is an amazing obsession
with planning and preservation that’s unique.
 It’s not an echo chamber–not everyone thinks alike.  But there’s a substantial level of

Buffalo is rich with history and architecture.  The founder of landscape architecture
in America, Frederick Law Olmsted, called Buffalo “the best planned city.”  Buffalo has a vibrant and active
preservation community, dedicated to preserving and sharing Buffalo’s rich
heritage of history and architecture. 
People of all ages are involved. 
It should be a shoo-in for someone in Buffalo to win this prize!


planning contest 2.png

There are seven key steps to completing the project–for
details, see instructions online:

Explore your community’s history

Interview a preservationist

Interview a planner

Select your area of preservation

Determine threats to preservation

Explore options for how your historic area may be
preserved and how historic buildings and sites can continue to function

Write your essay


For starters, here are some links to resources for planning,
preservation, and local history in Buffalo:


Buffalo Architecture and History

Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society

Buffalo and Erie County Public Library

Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, special collections

Buffalo Research–including a section on researching Buffalo

Preservation Buffalo Niagara

Campaign For Greater Buffalo

American Planning Association, WNY Chapter

American Institute for Architects, NY Chapters


Photo credits: Project for Public Spaces (entry), Rochester
Regional Community Design Center

Written by RaChaCha


RaChaCha is a Garbage Plate™ kid making his way in a Chicken Wing world. Since 2008, he's put over a hundred articles on here, and he asked us to be sure to thank you for reading. So, thank you for reading. You may also have seen his freelance byline in Artvoice, where he writes under the name his daddy gave him [Ed: Send me a check, and I might reveal what that is]. When he's not writing, RaChaCha is an urban planner, a rehabber of houses, and a community builder. He co-founded the Buffalo Mass Mob, and would love to see you at the next one. He represents Buffalo Young Preservationists on the Trico roundtable. If you try to demolish a historic building, he might have something to say about that. He is a proud AmeriCorps alum.

Things you may not know about RaChaCha (unless you read this before): "Ra Cha Cha" is a nickname of his hometown. (Didn't you know that? Do you live under a rock?) He's a political junkie (he once worked for the president of the Monroe County Legislature), but we don't really let him write about politics on here. He helped create a major greenway in the Genesee Valley, and worked on early planning for the Canalway Trail. He hopes you enjoy biking and hiking on those because that's what he put in all that work for. He was a ringleader of the legendary "Chill the Fill" campaign to save Rochester's old downtown subway tunnel. In fact, he comes from a long line of troublemakers. An ancestor fought at Bunker Hill, and a relative led the Bear Flag Revolt in California. We advise you to remember this before messing with him in the comments. He worked on planning the Rochester ARTWalk, and thinks Buffalo should have one of those, too (write your congressman).

You can also find RaChaCha (all too often, we frequently nag him) on the Twitters at @HeyRaChaCha. Which is what some people here yell when they see him on the street. You know who you are.

View All Articles by RaChaCha


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