The News-Star, Monroe, La., on supporting an international treasure:

June 3

The News-Star, Monroe, La., on supporting an international treasure:

If you have ever visited Poverty Point State Historic Site, you know that it is much more than a local treasure. It’s an international gem.

But Poverty Point, like so many other state-funded institutions, has suffered from Louisiana’s budgetary woes. That’s why the development of a regional — and perhaps national— support system for this important archaeological site is so important.

A new nonprofit organization has been formed to support Poverty Point. The organization, Advocates for Poverty Point, developed as an outgrowth of the nomination of Poverty Point for the World Heritage List, said Gary Stringer, president of the nonprofit and professor emeritus of geology at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. ...

Poverty Point was nominated earlier this year to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The world list includes 962 sites in 157 countries designated as the most significant cultural and natural sites on the planet. Only 21 sites in the United States are listed as a World Heritage Site.

The official mission of Advocates for Poverty Point is to raise public awareness, to perform educational outreach and development, to communicate and advocate with governmental branches, and to raise funds for the benefit of the Poverty Point State Historic Site and the archaeology program.

The Office of State Parks — which manages Poverty Point and is under the Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism in the Office of Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne — has been assisting the group with its organization.

Stringer said the organization will soon begin its membership drive. People of all ages will be encouraged to participate.

We look forward to the opportunity to help Poverty Point gain World Heritage recognition, and hope when the opportunity arises to support this effort, you will consider it as well.

Online:

http://www.thenewsstar.com

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