Showing the Colorado County Courthouse in Texas some love, February 2013.
"Preservation" can sometimes come across as a complicated or academic process, but the truth is much simpler. At its heart, preservation is about love -- love for buildings, love for places, love for history, love for community, and love for the people who rally together to protect all these important things.
So this February, during a month that is all about love, we're inviting you to join our national heart bomb. What's a heart bomb, you ask? It's the act of showering an older or historic place with tangible expressions of affection and devotion -- preferably with lots of other place-lovers in tow.
The beauty of heart bombing is its simplicity. Here are the basic steps (but feel free to improvise!):
- Read these two blog posts to learn where heart bombing comes from and see how other communities have spread the love.
- Buy your basic, elementary school art supplies.
- Gather a group of people who are passionate about saving a place.
- Make big Valentines for the place you love.
- Use glitter. Lots of it.
- Take your Valentines and either affix them to the place, or stand in front of it holding your declarations of love.
- Take pictures. Lots of them. Especially of your smiling faces in front of the bedazzled location.
- Share all those pictures (and tweets and Facebook posts and pins ...) with the hashtag #iheartpreservation.
- Send your very best pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, February 20. (Feel free to keep heartbombing until the end of the month, though!) Please include a one-paragraph blurb about why you love this place and why more people should fall in love with it too.
Our team will compile your heart bombs into one, big, wonderful Valentine to places and the people who adore them. So snag some glitter, pick your place, and shout your love from the rooftops -- both literal and virtual!
The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.
Julia Rocchi is the director of digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.