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Recognize great heritage work, learn more at conferences and trainings, and get funding to research Oregon history.

Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards recognize individuals, businesses and organizations for outstanding heritage efforts. The nomination process is an opportunity to honor work that goes above and beyond expectations, serves as a model for future work, and inspires others. Special consideration is given to the development of new ideas, approaches, and innovations.

The Sally Donovan Award for Historic Cemetery Preservation is a special category that recognizes outstanding contributions in the preservation of Oregon Historic Cemeteries.

Deadline: January 14, 2021, 11:59 p.m.
Timeline: The nomination period opens in early December and closes in late January annually. The contact identified in the application will be notified of the review committee’s decision in February. Award winners are publicly recognized at Oregon Heritage’s annual gathering in April.
Application Process:

  1. Review 2021 criteria
  2. Apply online

Recognition: Awards will be presented at the 2021 Oregon Heritage Virtual Summit April 29-30.

2020 Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards:

- Astoria YMCA Restoration Project, for excellence in façade restoration of a nearly abandoned building and honoring the building's civic roots in reuse. Award Video.

- Black Butte Cupola Restoration Project, for a collaborative historic preservation effort between Friends of the Metolius and Deschutes National Forest to restore and preserve the 1922 look-out structure. Award Video.

- Brookside Pioneer Cemetery, for creating a cemetery preservation plan, documenting conditions, and repairing over 121 headstones to their original upright positions. Award Video.

- Janice Dilg, scholar, public historian, and history builder who uncovers diverse voices of resistance, particularly related to Oregon's women's history. Award Video.

- David Ellis, for a distinguished 50-year career preserving Oregon's archaeological, ethnohistoric, and historic resources and encouraging Tribal participation in cultural resources management. Award Video.

- Eileen Fitzsimons, for dedicated statewide work on heritage projects preserving Oregon's history, including devotion to historic trails, the Oregon Quilt Project, and local history. Award Video.

- Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project, a grassroots Federal/State/Local partnership in public archaeology helping to rewrite the role of the Chinese diaspora and Chinese Oregonians in the history of the state. Award Video.

- Don Peting, founder of PNW Field School and central figure at UO Historic Preservation Program for 40 years who has created a ripple effect through those he has taught. Award Video.

- Racing for Change- The Eugene Story, a partnership between Oregon Black Pioneers and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History that prioritized community outreach and input to tell a local story about race relations in Eugene. Award Video.

- Phyllis Zegers, a dedicated volunteer who has researched over 3,360 unclaimed cremated remains in the custody of the Oregon State Hospital and assisted in reuniting approximately 573 urns with family members. Award Video.

Previous Awardees

The Excellence in Downtown Revitalization Awards recognize projects and people benefitting downtowns in communities participating in the Oregon Main Street Network.

Participating Oregon Main Street Network organizations are eligible to apply. Nominations are announced through the network.

2020 Awards

Oregon Main Street announced its 2020 “Excellence in Downtown Revitalization" award winners recognizing outstanding achievements in local main street efforts between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

The fifteen projects, businesses, & individuals honored are:

  • Best New Business – Blaylock's Whiskey Bar, Astoria (Award Video)
  • Business of the Year – White Birch Design Co., Hillsboro. (Award Video)
  • Best Adaptive Reuse – 640 2nd Building, Bandon (Award Video)
  • Best Placemaking Project – Beaverton Downtown Association's CoSign Project, Beaverton (Award Video)
  • Best Façade Renovation – Welcome Hotel, Reedsport (Award Video)
  • Best Upper Floor Renovation – B-Still Lofts, Albany (Award Video)
  • Best Historic Preservation Project – Glass Tile Grant, Astoria (Award Video)
  • Best Downtown Retail Activity – Drive Up Downtown, Albany (Award Video)
  • Best Image Event – Downtown Oregon City Association's 175th Anniversary Art Print, Oregon City (Award Video)
  • Best Special Project – Greater Than Golf, Bandon (Award Video)
  • Outstanding Partnership – City of Klamath Falls (Award Video)
  • Best Organizational Tool – Idea Sharing, Hillsboro (Award Video)
  • Volunteer of the Year – Sophia Slack, Beaverton (Award Video)
  • Board Member of the Year – Oscar Hult, Albany (Award Video)
  • Main Street Manager of the Year – Beaverton Downtown Association's Kevin Teater, Beaverton (Award Video)

The Elisabeth Walton Potter Oregon Heritage Preservation Scholarship provides financial assistance for Oregon residents to attend a preservation-related conference, workshop, or training in the United States. Eligible travel expenses include registration fees, transportation, lodging, and meals. Scholarships are offered to those actively involved in local preservation efforts and who demonstrate how attendance at a preservation-related conference, workshop, or training will help meet the preservation needs of their local community. Scholarships are competitive and offered twice per year.

Applications Postponed until further notice

Oregon Heritage Fellowships are available annually through a competitive process to Oregon students who are researching a topic related to history, geography, archaeology, cultural heritage, historic preservation, or other related topic. Enrolled undergraduate and graduate students of an Oregon university or college are encouraged to apply. Fellowship recipients will present their research process and findings at the annual Oregon Heritage Conference/Summit or other Oregon Heritage event the following spring.

Next Application Deadline: The 2021 Fellowship is canceled due to budget restraints related to COVID-19.

2020 Fellows

2019 Fellows:

Previous Fellows

Remember to leverage any awards to should the value of heritage resources and projects in your organization and community. Learn more about how to do this with our heritage engagement tools.


Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards, Scholarships & Fellowships

Katie Henry
(503) 877-8834

Excellence in Downtown Revitalization Awards

Sheri Stuart
(503) 986-0679

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