While we are busy planning events to bring together former members with a new generation of Wisconsin citizens concerned with historic preservation, we need to keep a focus on what unites us. While there have been gigantic leaps in the methodology of historic preservation over the past decades, the landscape has changed markedly. With more groups competing for scarcer resources, we have come to rely increasingly on the private sector to revitalize our historic buildings and neighborhoods. While study upon study has shown that historic preservation makes economic sense, that is not enough of a catalyst to motivate developers to rehabilitate the old in favor of building new.
Historic preservation is inextricably tied to environmental sustainability, which is becoming an increasingly widespread core value in our society. As advocates for historic preservation, we need to work to achieve a similar status for our cause. We must make the retention and rehabilitation of our significant historic structures and sites the norm, rather than the result of a series of hard-fought battles.
While the Trust plans to work with communities across the state to save the places that matter to all of us, the ultimate goal of the "New" Trust is that historic preservation become more of a commonplace standard in the ongoing development of our communities.