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Certified Local Government Program

The Certified Local Government (CLG) program is a partnership between municipal governments, the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO), and the National Park Service (NPS) that promotes and supports effective historic preservation programs and policies in Pennsylvania municipalities. Designation is a mark of distinction that provides participating communities with credibility, as well as access to technical assistance and grant programs; it means that the municipality follows best practices and views preservation as an integral part of its community and economic development.

The CLG Program in Pennsylvania

The CLG program in Pennsylvania recognizes the unique characteristics of the Commonwealth’s communities while promoting technical, legal, and procedural best practices that are common to all participating communities.  The CLG program in Pennsylvania:

    1. Establishes standards and distributes guidance for best practices in municipal historic preservation programs;
    2. Engages CLGs in implementing State and Federal historic preservation programs;
    3. Provides technical and financial support for projects that increase local capacity and implement best practices related to historic resources;
    4. Facilitates networking and the exchange of ideas among CLGs; and
    5. Facilitates training opportunities for municipal leaders.

Benefits to Being a CLG

The CLG program provides exclusive benefits to participating communities, including a dedicated grant program, specialized technical assistance, and participation in the National Register of Historic Places nomination process.

    • The CLG Grant Program provides funding to develop the tools, products, programs, and services municipalities need to administer their local preservation programs effectively and in accordance with the CLG program guidelines.
    • Designing for Preservation Solutions provides free design services to CLGs and related community organizations.  Examples of eligible projects include façade renderings, reuse strategies, accessibility issues, and code compliance analysis.
    • Guidance for Preservation Solutions is a technical assistance program that provides CLGs with free, comprehensive advice from the PA SHPO on cultural resource issues and projects in their communities.
    • CLGs and nonprofit organizations within CLGs receive special consideration for Keystone Historic Preservation Grant (PDF) funding.
    • Projects within CLGs receive special consideration for DCED Keystone Communities funding.
    • CLGs participate formally in the National Register of Historic Places review process for properties in their communities.

Beyond the tangible benefits, being a CLG also provides credibility and distinction to a community’s preservation programs.  The certification requirements and performance standards are intended to provide residents, property owners, elected officials, and other stakeholders with confidence that the community is following best practices while meeting its legal and ethical obligations.

There are currently 50 CLGs throughout Pennsylvania.

Contact the Community Preservation Coordinator for your region for more information about the CLG program.