HistoriCorps
About Us

About Us

Our mission is to foster a preservation ethic
by engaging volunteers in saving historic places.

HistoriCorps is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides volunteers of all skill levels with a hands-on experience preserving historic structures on public lands across America. Volunteers work with HistoriCorps field staff to learn preservation skills and put those skills to work saving historic places that have fallen into disrepair. HistoriCorps works to ensure America’s cultural and historical resources exist for generations to come.

Our Values

Guiding Principle: Historic preservation craftsmanship is a standard of excellence and an unwavering commitment to quality encompassing everything from knowledge of the advantages and limits of construction materials in specific applications to the experience-based use and understanding of hand and/or power tools to replicate the original design, construction and appearance.

In Action – We are mindful of doing our best, and that doing our work well is our reward. We utilize a network of preservation specialists to supplement field-experienced project managers, to provide quality control checks on final scopes of work, to coach and mentor field staff, and to improve project best practices through peer learning. We regularly train managers and field staff in supplemental ‘hands-on’ traditional skills.

Guiding Principle – We follow best practices and foster strong, collaborative partnerships. We value authenticity, transparency, and trust. We communicate openly about our strengths and challenges, and we collaborate to improve and thrive.

In Action – We demonstrate skill and craftsmanship. We uphold best practices to preserve and restore the physical integrity of each historic resource. We exemplify professional conduct and we act in good faith, presuming good intentions. We look for opportunities to learn from each other. We work together to overcome mistakes and we share responsibility for every outcome.

Guiding Principal – We embrace challenge as integral to personal and organizational growth. Challenges prompt us to continually evaluate what we do, where we go, and how we work. Challenge is the fertile ground in which our personal and professional growth takes root.

In Action – We boldly take on new opportunities and experiences. We offer adventures that take volunteers beyond the bounds of everyday life. We design each project to bring a wealth of new skills in an environment conducive to bettering our community and our selves.

Guiding Principle – We teach by doing, and participants gain knowledge and experience in a safe, welcoming, immersive, team-centered and supportive environment.

In Action – We seek partners who align with our capabilities and mission. We select preservation work that is hands-on, collaborative and enriching for all participants.

Guiding Principle – We value and respect all members of our community and embrace the unique contributions every person gives to support our shared success. We are at our best when we support diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences at all levels of this organization.

In Action – We ask for, listen to, and consider diverse points of view. We recruit and support individuals and groups who are underrepresented in our organization and profession. We strive to make historic preservation projects accessible and inclusive. We work to minimize physical, financial, and social barriers. We work to help our preservation community grow, diversify, and evolve.

Guiding Principle – HistoriCorps is a steward of historic resources, and we are stewards of HistoriCorps.

In Action – We ensure that every action and initiative we take is in the best interests of HistoriCorps and its mission. In doing this, we achieve the greatest benefit for our partners and the historic resource. Through the work of HistoriCorps, we convey and actively promote stewardship to everyone we touch.

Our Vision

HistoriCorps’ organizational culture and financial strength are its foundation for sustainability.

Diversified projects, organizational culture, and initiatives forge HistoriCorps into the exemplary leader of experiential historic preservation learning for volunteers and youth.

Leveraging the strength of its volunteer program, endowment, and expertise, HistoriCorps inspires and expands the preservation community by investing in workforce development programs and projects of importance to historically under-represented populations.

Annual Reports

HistoriCorps’ History

HistoriCorps evolved out of a network of volunteers and professionals dedicated to saving America’s special places.

Between 2002 and 2007, a group representing land managers and preservation stewards got together to restore buildings in the Pike-San Isabel National Forest, Leadville, and Twin Lakes. The partnership demonstrated that a public-private program engaging a network of volunteers and professionals in the preservation of historic places was possible.

In 2009, the United States Forest Service (USFS) approached Colorado Preservation Inc. (CPI) with the idea to form a “corps” modeled after community service programs like the renowned Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps.  The program was created through an appropriation of funding by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The first official HistoriCorps preservation project was a community work-day in October 2009 to paint, clean, and repair the USFS Ranger Station and the facades of historic buildings on Main Street of Saguache, Colorado. The project involved 30 volunteers from the community.

There was a need in America for an organization that could conduct “step-on, step-off” projects to save historic structures on public lands and provide resources including volunteers, expertise, tools, and equipment. HistoriCorps is now building the capacity of public land management agencies to preserve their historic resources, advance green technologies, and foster stewardship among local communities. By working with constituents, partners and alternative workforces, HistoriCorps is implementing meaningful solutions that save special places for generations to come.

In January 2013, HistoriCorps became an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

“Without volunteers like us, a lot of these things just go to waste and rot away because nobody has the money, the time, or the work force to do it,”
– Amanda Tulley

Awards  and  Recognition

HistoriCorps’ Preservation Work on the New Bern Academy in North Carolina was honored by the City of New Bern through a Proclamation in 2020.

We are thrilled and honored that HistoriCorps has been officially designated as a Preserve America Steward by First Lady Michelle Obama for our work engaging volunteers to save and sustain historic places on public lands throughout the country. Of course, we couldn’t have done it without the enthusiasm and tireless dedication of our amazing volunteers!

HistoriCorps and its partners received the 2018 Heritage Tourism Award from the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia! HistoriCorps accepted the award alongside our partners the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area’s Preservation Team, and Monongahela National Forest. For more on the project and the award, check out the following video here!

HistoriCorps is proud to announce that the Skinner Cabin project was awarded a Museums of Western Colorado (MWC) Heritage Preservation Prize in March 2017! Thank you to our crew leaders, field staff, volunteers, and everyone else who worked hard to earn this distinction. The Heritage Awards celebrate the contributions of community members toward fulfilling the Museum’s mission of discovering, preserving, and sharing the heritage of the Grand Valley. The preservation award recognizes distinguished and long-term efforts of an individual, group or organization to the preservation of Mesa County’s architectural treasures.

The GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Awards is the only people’s choice award where volunteers, donors, and people served by nonprofits are asked to share stories of inspiration and express their appreciation. In 2018, HistoriCorps won a Top-Rated Award, earning a spot on the prestigious Top-Rated Nonprofits List for being rated highly by volunteers! According to a study by Software Advice, the GreatNonprofits seal is the second most trusted rating seal, after the Better Business Bureau.