Florida Trust Team Kicks Off Regional Council Road Tour in East Central Florida!

From left to right: Region 6 Regional Ambassador Joseph Yates, docent from the Lawndale Museum on River Road, Florida Trust CEO Melissa Wyllie, U.S. Congressman Bill Posey and Florida Trust Development Director Yasmin Kahn-Hohensee.

In an effort to provide more direct support to our entire state and its diverse communities, the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation was thrilled to kick off its 2023 Regional Council Road Tour in Rockledge on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023.

The Florida Trust began the event by delivering remarks on what the Florida Trust does and the scope of our work. In addition to the hospitable volunteers and staff at the museum, we were joined by U.S. Congressman Bill Posey and Rockledge Mayor Thomas Price. We also were joined by representatives from Green Gables at Historic Riverview Village and other members of the Region 6 community.

“Events like this one help us remain better connected to the many preservationists that exist throughout our state,” said Florida Trust CEO & President, Melissa Wyllie. “We want the Florida Trust to truly be a resource that is accessible statewide. This was a great kickoff to our Regional Road Tour.”

Region 6 Ambassador Joseph S. Yates III, Construction Manager at NASA and Board Trustee at the

Florida Trust, organized an exciting afternoon in his home city and invited fellow preservationists and the Florida Trust team to take part. The day started at the historic Lawndale Museum on River Road, a historic home in Rockledge, Florida, built in the late 1800s by Hiram Smith Williams. The property is registered on the National Register of Historic Places and is a significant addition to the Rockledge Drive Historic District.

The Lawndale Museum is one of the last remaining examples of Queen Ann-style architecture in Brevard County and houses an extensive library as well as a school room that is believed to be one of the first schools in the county. We were able to enjoy a tour of the home thanks to the team at the Lawndale Museum.

Following our visit to the Lawndale Museum, we embarked on part two of our afternoon by attending an informative session at the Florida Historical Society State headquarters in downtown Rockledge. We are incredibly appreciative of the Florida Historical Society’s executive director, Benjamin Brotemarkle, for delivering a helpful presentation on their work as an organization. It was great to be able to connect with a fellow alliance member of The Coalition for Florida’s Historic Places.

An amazing historic library at Lawndale Museum in Rockledge.
Florida Historical Society’s Executive Director Benjamin Brotemarkle presenting during the Road Tour.

The Florida Trust has identified and established eight Regional Councils representing all cities and counties in the state. Regional Councils are led by volunteers who are contacts between the Florida Trust and the region that they represent, whom we’ve designated as Regional Council Ambassadors.

Regional Council Ambassadors bridge the gap between local preservation efforts and communities impacted by our mission with the entire state at large. They assist with planning quarterly meetings and maintaining communications within their region, providing support for preservation advocacy, reporting local issues to the Board to help inform our advocacy and serving as a liaison for membership and sponsorship inquiries to Florida Trust staff.

Regional Council Ambassadors also address questions regarding area preservation techniques, vendors, and resources, provide support for 11 to Save within the region and suggestions for local nominations for 11 to Save and Florida Preservation Awards. They also are responsible for connecting with local Main Streets and building ideas for local events within the region.

Regional Councils are an extension of the mission of the Florida Trust to promote the preservation and the inclusive sharing of the diverse architectural, historical and archaeological heritage of Florida, and we are incredibly grateful to those eight individuals on our team who make this vision a reality.

Our Regional Council Road Tour kicked off one month ago on February 25, 2023, in Rockledge, Florida, representing Region 6. Region 6 is made up of Brevard, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Osceola and St. Lucie counties.

Lastly, we ended the visit by dining together and connecting on our shared appreciation of acknowledging Florida’s history and working to tell the full stories of all who live here. Many thanks to all that made the day possible.

Stay tuned for our Regional Road Tour journey as we travel the state! Want to get more involved in Region 6? Contact us at information@floridatrust.org.

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