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Pilot Knob Historic Site in Mendota Heights Competes for Preservation Funds on Facebook

The public can vote for Pilot Knob in the Partners in Preservation competition.

The mayor of Mendota Heights is looking for your vote.

But she isn’t rallying for her own election this time. Instead, Mayor Sandra Krebbach and a group of environmental and historical preservation advocates are working to get votes in a Facebook competition that could provide restoration funds for .

Historic Pilot Knob in Mendota Heights is one of 25 local sites to be chosen to compete for grants from Partners in Preservation, a community-based program from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express. The program will distribute one million dollars in restoration grants to competing sites.

Power Line Removal is Priority

Pilot Knob, also known by its Dakota name, Oheyawahi, is a Native American sacred site. As a natural area, it is being restored to pre-settlement conditions with native plants. Pilot Knob has historical significance as the site where the Treaty of 1851 was signed.

The funds being given by Partners in Preservation would help the restoration process, specifically with relocating or burying of the power lines that bisect the area.

Krebsbach said that Pilot Knob is vastly different from the other competitors.

“Pilot Knob is really unique among all of these sites,” she said, “because it is truly a site. Most of the others have buildings, while we have a site that reflects pre-settlement conditions.”

Votes will be gathered Sept. 20 through Oct. 12. The winning site on Partners in Preservation’s Facebook page is guaranteed restoration funds, while the remaining sites’ fate will be determined by an advisory committee made up of local leaders.

Meet the Candidate

As part of the Partners in Preservation program, participating sites will hold open houses. Guided tours of Pilot Knob are scheduled for 2-5 p.m., Oct. 9. The site’s address is 2100 Pilot Knob Road adjacent to Acadia Cemetery.

Kickoff Held Tuesday

Krebsbach joined Jake Sedlacek, assistant to the city administrator; Deborah Karasov and Wiley Buck of Great River Greening and Chris Soutter of the Pilot Knob Preservation Association in representing Pilot Knob at a Tuesday morning Partners in Preservation press conference.

Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman spoke at the kickoff event, stressing the importance of historic preservation.

“When we recognize history, when we preserve these links to our past,” Coleman said, “we help drive the future.”

 To vote for Pilot Knob

Log into Facebook. “Like” Partners in Preservation, then select “Vote.” Accept the app. Choose “Historic Pilot Knob” and click the voting button. Individuals may vote once per day through Oct. 12, 2011.

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