Department of Parks
Kentucky History Awards Honor Veteran State Parks Employee, Three Historic Sites
FRANKFORT, Ky. – A veteran employee of the Department of Parks was recognized for her contributions to historic preservation at the Kentucky History Awards ceremony on March 3.
Brooks Howard, the assistant director for recreation parks and historic sites, was given the Award of Distinction during the ceremony, sponsored by the Historical Confederation of Kentucky and the Kentucky Historical Society. Three Kentucky State Park historic sites were also honored with 2007 Kentucky History Awards.
Howard was nominated by historic site managers in the park system, where she has worked since 1986. Howard and her family owned the Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home near Hodgenville. Howard was the first woman president of the Lincoln Heritage Trail Board of Directors, a combined alliance of the states of Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois to promote Abraham Lincoln’s history and the historic sites devoted to the Lincoln family. Howard currently serves as an advisor on Kentucky’s Lincoln Bicentennial Committee.
Howard, who lives in Frankfort, was praised by historic site managers for her preservation efforts. “Before others felt that it was necessary in the field, Brooks was attending conservation classes in Washington D.C.,” the nomination said. “She then brought back this knowledge and pushed for higher conservation standards within the parks system, procuring professionals in the field to work on various projects.”
The managers also praised Howard for pushing to make park exhibits historically accurate, introducing modern inventory methods for historic materials and encouraging managers to continue their education in historic preservation.
“Brooks’ hard work has brought excellence to historic preservation and presentation in our parks,” said Parks Commissioner J.T. Miller. “Kentucky history is better known because of her dedication over the years she has served the commonwealth.”
The 2006 National Civil War Reenactment at the Battle of Perryville won an award of merit in the Educational Program for Public category. This honors a project of outstanding quality that can serve as a statewide or national model. The reenactment took place at the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site and attracted more than 37,000 visitors last October.
Perryville Battlefield also received a certificate of commendation in the Educational Program for Schools category for its School of the Soldier program. This award is for projects that can serve as a model for other organizations in the state. The School of the Soldier program allows elementary school students to learn what it was like to serve as a soldier who fought in 1862 at Perryville, the bloodiest engagement in Kentucky. (Anyone interested in this program can call the park at 859-332-8631 for information.)
The Settlement of Boone Station event, held in July at Boone Station Historic Site in Fayette County, was given a certificate of commendation in the Educational Program for Public category. The land where the park is located served as Daniel Boone’s home and the event featured pioneer activities and experts on Boone.
Also receiving a commendation in the Educational Program for Public category was the Lincoln-Hanks Wedding Bicentennial, held last June at Lincoln Homestead State Historic Site in Springfield. Kentucky State Parks joined with the Kentucky Historical Society and local organizations for a day-long event that featured a play about the wedding of Abraham Lincoln’s parents.
The Lincoln-Hanks Bicentennial event also received a certificate of commendation in the Publication-Brochure category for the brochure that was used to promote the event.
These awards were presented at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort.