Preservation: Public input needed to develop plan

Mid-Ohio Valley residents know our region is dotted with historical buildings and sites at nearly every turn. We also know that far too many of those sites are not receiving the attention they deserve. Too often, it is not until they are in danger — or have reached the point of no return — that they reach the public’s attention … and outcry comes too late.

When attendees of the West Virginia Historic Preservation Conference were in town earlier this month, they had an opportunity to walk around downtown Parkersburg and see a few of the more significant sites.

Now, the public is being asked for input on West Virginia’s historic preservation comprehensive plan, and ideas for continued projects through 2024.

There will be meetings throughout the state, from Oct. 4 through Nov. 19, though none of them are close to home. Still, those who feel their comments could be valuable (suggestions and solutions, not just complaints) should make an effort to get to Wheeling, Huntington, Charles Town, Buckhannon, Morgantown, Bluefield, Bath or Lewisburg.

The plan is reviewed, revised and updated every five years, with a questionnaire available at 304-558-0240. Information gathered at these meetings will be pulled into a plan that is expected to be finalized and approved by the National Park Service by July.

There are far too many sites in our little corner of the state for them to go ignored because no one gave them a voice.