Mills is one of only 13 Colleges to receive a 2006 Campus Heritage Grant from the Getty Foundation.
The $170,000 grant will be used to create a plan for the preservation and restoration of historically significant sites on campus.
Paul Richards, director of Facilities, was on the grant committee and helped to write the grant as well as contributed his ideas and suggestions about the buildings and landscapes that Mills should preserve. He said that the grant enables Mills to create a master plan for landscape preservation.
The landscape preservation plan will be beneficial to Mills because it will centralize information about what and how the college has decided to preserve all over the campus. Currently, various construction projects on campus use different landscape architects to design the grounds surrounding the each project. Each new landscape architect will be given a direction to follow that will act in accord with the master plan.
Richards said that Mills is currently identifying different habitats around the campus to get a better idea of what needs to be preserved. A study of Lyon Creek is also underway to see how the creek doing, to identify the whole run of the creek and to preserve its landscape features.
Other features of Mills’ landscape heritage that the preservation plan will consider include the oval, Toyon Meadow, the sycamore trees that line Richards Road, creek habitats and Lake Aliso.
In the news release circulated by the Foundation regarding this year’s grant recipients, interim Director Joan Weinstein said, “American college and university campuses are often museums of great architecture and design. They provide students, faculty and visitors with both inspiration and a vital link to the past. Our grants have assisted these institutions as they make plans to care for, maintain, and preserve their important historic resources.”
In order to apply for Campus Heritage Grants colleges must submit preliminary letters to the Getty Foundation. Among the requirements for the letters are: descriptions of the project for which the grant is requested, brief outlines of the project budget and information about the historic status of the buildings on campus. Applications must be submitted to the foundation along with these letters.
Writing these preliminary letters can be a long process, according to Mary MacNaughton, an art history professor Scripps College. The Southern California all women’s college received a Campus Heritage Grant in 2002. McNaughton said it was the product of an entire year devoted to the preliminary letter writing and application process.
The Campus Heritage Grant allowed Scripps to outline a plan of preservation for their school that included both short and long-term goals.
The Getty Foundation is a feature of the J. Paul Getty Trust, which is an international cultural and philanthropic institution that is devoted to visual arts. The Foundation awarded over $2 million in Campus Heritage Grants this year.