WASHINGTON, D.C. - First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama has signed and sent designation letters to 29 new Preserve America Communities, bringing the total nationwide to 843.

"Preserve America Communities are committed to preserving their past by using their heritage to build a better future," said Wayne Donaldson, chairman of the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). "It is good news for the nation when 29 more communities demonstrate that they want to enjoy and share the economic, educational, environmental and sustainability benefits preservation provides while creating more vibrant and desirable places to live, work and visit."

The newly designated communities are, by state:
Arkansas: Booneville, Calico Rock
California: Alameda, Napa, Pasadena, San Francisco, Ukiah
Florida: Tallahassee
Georgia: Hawkinsville, Winder
Iowa: Marion
Indiana: Fort Wayne
Missouri: Carthage
Nevada: Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe
New Hampshire: Portsmouth
New York: Binghamton
North Carolina: Asheboro, Hendersonville, Hillsborough, Transylvania County, Waxhaw
Pennsylvania: Durham Township, East Pikeland Township
South Carolina: Columbia
South Dakota: Sioux Falls
Texas: Frisco, George West
West Virginia: Elkins
Wyoming: Fremont County

The Preserve America Community Program recognizes a select group of communities that use their heritage resources and share the myriad benefits of historic preservation with residents and visitors. The program began in 2003 and Preserve America Communities, great places to visit and explore, are now located in all 50 states and many overseas U.S. territories. Preserve America is administered by the ACHP with assistance from the U.S. Department of the Interior. For more information see www.preserveamerica.gov and www.achp.gov.