On August 2, 2010, the Texas Archeological Stewardship Network (TASN) was named as an official Preserve America Steward by First Lady Michelle Obama. This prestigious designation recognizes programs that have demonstrated a successful use of volunteer time and commitment in order to help care for the country’s cultural and natural heritage.
Preserve America Stewards is a component of the Preserve America initiative that was developed in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), the U.S. Department of the Interior, and other federal agencies. Between 2008 and 2014, there were 39 Preserve America Stewards officially designated across the country.
The TASN has served as a model for similar programs in other states, and the Network was recognized for the breadth of its volunteer efforts to preserve and protect significant archeological sites that shed light on the real stories of Texas’ past. In the letter announcing the designation, Mrs. Obama stated “with your service, you are strengthening our country” and also noted that “every volunteer shows that we all have a role to play in shaping a better future, and we can do it by honoring our past.”
Since the nomination, the TASN has continued to provide invaluable service to the Texas Historical Commission by carrying out digs, documenting artifacts, assisting landowners obtain protective designations, and coordinating numerous Texas Archeology Month events throughout the state.