Skip to main content Homepage


Apply and learn more!

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 27, 2022, 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 2022 Critera and Guidelines
  2. Apply online

Recognition: Awards will be presented at the 2022 Oregon Heritage Conference.

2021 Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards:

Award presentation recording
- Bobbie Dolp, Salem, for her dedicated work in establishing the Lord & Schryver Conservancy and preserving the legacy of Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver who established the first women-owned landscape architecture firm in the Northwest. Enjoy a video!

- Caples House Museum Restoration Project, Columbia City, for extraordinary fundraising efforts resulting in the restoration of the National Register listed Caples House Museum preserving not only the structure, but also the museum collection inside of it. Enjoy a video!

- University of Oregon's Eugene Lesbian Oral History Project, Eugene, for documenting and preserving the contributions of the Eugene lesbian community to Oregon’s enduring cultural, political, and social innovations. Enjoy a video!

- Johnny Edwards, Yamhill County, for his holistic and passionate approach to the preservation of the historic Lafayette and McMinnville Masonic Cemeteries. This is the Sally Donovan Historic Cemetery Preservation Award. Enjoy a video!

- Steven Greif, Coos Bay, for his dedicated volunteer service that has contributed to the growth and community impact of the Coos History Museum. Enjoy a video!

- The Darcelle Project, Portland, a multi-dimensional project that preserves and honors the story of Walter Cole, also known as Darcelle, and his achievements as an entrepreneur, performer, Portland icon, and activist for the LGBTQ community. The work included National Register nominations. Enjoy a video!

- University of Oregon's Institute for Policy Research and Engagement, Eugene, for their contributions in supporting community heritage preservation efforts through research, the RARE Americorps program, and disaster resilience planning. Enjoy a video!

Previous Awardees

The Excellence on Main 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.

2021 Awards

Oregon Main Street announced its 2021 Excellence on Main Awards at the 2021 Virtual Oregon Main Street Conference Oct. 6-8.

The fifteen partners, projects, activities, and businesses honored are:

  • Outstanding New Building: First Federal Headquarters, McMinnville. View Video
  • Creative Placemaking: McMinnville Dine Out(Side), McMinnville. View Video
  • Outstanding Civic Project: Corvallis Museum, Corvallis. View Video
  • Outstanding Adaptive Reuse: 999 N. Front Street, Coos Bay. View Video
  • Outstanding Downtown Housing Project: Merwyn Apartments, Astoria. View Video
  • Outstanding Mixed Use Project: Gray-Belle Building, Salem. View Video
  • Business Heroes: Lionheart Coffee, Beaverton, & Homegrown Oregon Foods, Albany.  View Video
  • Outstanding Public-Private Partnership: City of Independence & Independence Downtown Association, and City of Beaverton and Beaverton Downtown Association. View Video
  • Executive Director of the Year: Darin Rutledge, Klamath Falls Downtown Association. View Video
  • Outstanding Partnership: Gold Beach Small Town Christmas, Gold Beach. View Video
  • Outstanding Promotion: Baker City Gingerbread House Tour, Baker City. View Video
  • Outstanding Special Project: Building Our New Landscape, Tigard, and Literary Pollinator Garden, Hillsboro. View Video

In addition, six individuals were acknowledged with a Volunteers on Main award for their above and beyond contributions to their communities. These individuals are:

  • Tim O'Dwyer, Gold Beach Main Street
  • Patsy Oser, Astoria Downtown Historic District Association
  • Tom Novak, Baker City Downtown
  • Kipperlyn Sinclair, Hillsboro Downtown Partnership
  • Kate Schwarzler, Independence Downtown Association
  • Matt Wadlington, Albany Downtown Association

View Video

2020 Awards

  • 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: Extended to Nov. 15, 2021

How to Apply:

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

Your browser is out-of-date! It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how