Johnson County Kansas Heritage Foundation

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Declaration of Commitment

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The Board of Directors for the Johnson County Kansas Heritage Foundation are pleased to represent their respective affiliate member organizations, or as individuals designated as members-at-large, in the common purpose of protecting, educating, and advocating for the preservation of the heritage  of Johnson County.

As a statement of unity and commitment by preservation groups within Johnson County, the following DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT was approved and adopted by affiliate member organizations of the Johnson County Kansas Heritage Foundation to demonstrate to the public it serves a pledge of mutual support for the common mission to preserve and guard our County’s heritage for present and future generations:

On this date as noted below, and by these whose names are under-written, attest as duly authorized representatives of affiliated  member organizations noted, or those individuals designated as members-at-large, do solemnly, mutually, and by and for, the benefit of each affiliated member organization noted herein, covenant and unify ourselves as a coalition named Johnson County Kansas Heritage Foundation (Foundation); and as its primary mission, in desired cooperation with the public and private interests within our community seek to establish, implement, and administer a sustainable and perpetual funding program to promote and support historical and cultural preservation, education, and advocacy within Johnson County, Kansas and its citizens, and to preserve and guard our County’s historic record for present and future generations; and together as a collective civil body of registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, or governmental agencies, organized for historical and cultural preservation activities; and for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal bylaws, policies, practices, and procedures; and from time to time, as shall be thought must meet and convene for the general good of the Foundation, unto which we pledge our mutual support to the common mission to preserve and guard our County’s heritage for present and future generations.

It is the obligation of any community to recognize its heritage; to preserve its legacy; to educate its public of the value of its past, and to preserve it historic record.   One of the first 33 of 105 counties in Kansas, Johnson County it was ‘transportation’ which was the key to the growth and development of the County.  The routes of the historic Santa Fe-Oregon-California Trails were principle routes for commerce, trade, and immigration during the western expansion of our nation. Along these routes, settlements were made, the lands were made to bear harvest, and the roots enduring communities took hold. Later, railroads and highway systems supported expanding agriculture, trade and commerce. Communities grew to cities of significant populations, each rooted in the fertile soil of the lands upon which their seeds of progress were cast.   The hallmark of this growth and development was the value of education bore by our County’s pioneers who cast those seeds upon this soil.  It is they who learned from their forbearers, and it is thus that their heritage is bequeathed to us to preserve.

The Johnson County Museum system, (including the Johnson County Heritage and Cultural Center with its 1950s All-Electric House and the historic Lanesfield School) represents only one of many historical associations, societies, and preservation groups functioning within Johnson County, Kansas. Each of these organizations depends upon, and greatly benefit from grants and funding support to sustain their mission. Each organization dedicates thousands of hours annually for the purpose of historic preservation, education, and advocacy to enhance the Johnson County experience by preserving our past. Each organization applies its interest, resources, expertise in history, archeology, genealogy, art and anthropology to create a historical perspective from which we can view a panoramic insight into our past, and thus nurturing an preserving cultural and historic interests within the community.

Johnson County, Kansas is a significantly historic area of our State and Nation, particularly with its place in the history of the western expansion movement of the 1800’s. For Johnson County to remain as a benchmark community of highest esteem, and build for its future, it is obligated to its present and future generations to provide support to preservation initiatives, and to value the public’s interest to preserve the heritage of our past. Historic preservation, programming, funding, advocacy and education are primary elements for a sustaining and perpetual program which provides continued support for heritage and cultural interests within the County.  As a partner in preservation process, Johnson County enjoys exceptional municipalities, a vibrant business community, nationally recognized school systems, and a valued place in our nation’s historical record. Johnson County has long demonstrated its commitment to preserving the components of the County’s rich heritage and cultural past.

The need for financial support by preservation organizations is especially critical for those groups which do not receive, nor are directly supported by ANY public funds. The value received by preservation organizations in Johnson County through the now dissolved Johnson County Heritage Trust Fund , from 2002 to 2015, cannot be over-stated. It has contributed to the prestige of our community by enhancing its cultural identity, and providing an economic return to the public.

The Foundation has embarked on its quest to assure the public’s interest is maintained with an effective funding program designed to preserve our County’s heritage. The commitment of the Johnson County Kansas Heritage Foundation is reflected through a demonstrated achievement to preserve our past, and to assure our heritage remains guarded and maintained for present and future generations of those citizens who reside and are vested in Johnson County, Kansas.

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