Preservation Pennsylvania, in collaboration with Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds, is pleased to announce their pilot project, the Pennsylvania African American Cemetery Stewards Network, has been selected to receive grant funding from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

We are honored to be one of 33 proposals selected from a highly competitive national pool of more than 600 applicants.

Preservation Pennsylvania’s $50,000 grant was awarded in the Project Planning category for development of a new statewide program to protect and preserve Pennsylvania’s African American cemeteries and burial grounds, with a pilot project offering mini-grants, technical assistance, and a toolkit for cemetery stewards.


Please note: Applications aren’t available yet! Once the grant funds have been received, this program will be IN DEVELOPMENT. We expect to launch the program in Fall 2022 and hope to announce the selected sites in early 2023. The program will offer cemetery stewards site-specific preservation plans, financial advice, and direct support for site conservation and planning for future work. To receive updates and an alert when applications are available, please <<click here>> to sign up.


The National Trust’s Action Fund is the largest U.S. resource dedicated to the preservation of African American historic places. (To learn more about all of this year’s grant recipients, visit

A bouquet of orange and white flowers contrast with the muted grey of a burial marker for Frances E.W. Harper and Mary HarperA matching grant from the 1772 Foundation will enable Preservation Pennsylvania and PA Hallowed Grounds to develop a program that will support the long-term preservation of Pennsylvania’s African-American cemeteries by aiding the cemetery stewards who manage these sites.

Over one hundred African American cemeteries have been identified in Pennsylvania telling an underrepresented part of our history, yet they are threatened by underfunding, development, and changing demographics. These sites are also the final resting place of Black veterans, including many of the 8,612 Pennsylvania men who served with the United States Colored Troops in the Civil War.

This grant will pilot methods of direct assistance to these sites as well as offering training and technical assistance to the larger community of cemetery stewards. It will also help build public awareness and identify additional funding to preserve this heritage.

Click here for the press release.


About the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund from the National Trust for Historic Preservation 

Now in its fifth year, the Action Fund has supported 160 places through its National Grant Program for a total investment of $12.4 million. This year’s list further demonstrates the beauty and complexity of African American life, and includes historic sites tied to Black arts, culture, civic engagement, entrepreneurship, sports, medicine, education, religion, and social justice. These often-overlooked places hold aspects of history that must be protected—and used to draw inspiration and wisdom for the benefit of all Americans. Click here to learn more.

About the 1772 Foundation

The 1772 Foundation works to ensure the safe passage of our historic assets to future generations. Click here to learn more.

About Preservation Pennsylvania 

Preservation Pennsylvania is the Commonwealth’s only private statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people protect and preserve the historic places that matter to them.

Preservation Pennsylvania was established by the Commonwealth’s General Assembly in 1982 as the Preservation Fund of Pennsylvania, a statewide revolving fund to assist in the acquisition and rehabilitation of historic properties. Since then, Preservation Pennsylvania has grown into its role as a private, nonprofit membership organization with a statewide mission to protect and preserve Pennsylvania’s irreplaceable historic places.

Whether as a leader, partner, or advisor, Preservation Pennsylvania works to secure the future of the past through educational outreach workshops and events, legislative advocacy, advisory and technical assistance in the field, and other special initiatives. The organization is celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2022. Consider making a 40th Anniversary donation to support our work.

About PA Hallowed Grounds 

The mission of the Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds (PAHG) is to honor, interpret, and preserve African American cemeteries and the burial sites of Civil War African American Sailors and United States Colored Troops in America. PAHG connects and builds the capacity of stewards of these cemeteries and burial sites, and supports conservation, documentation, education, and training. Working collaboratively with other groups and organizations, PAHG provides tangible encounters with memory and enriches the public understanding of history. Click here to visit their Facebook page.

A cemetery with a smattering of stone markers. At the left, near a tall tree, a small group is having a discussion. One woman is wearing a dress style from the late 19th century.