1. Protect Your Historic Property

Historic preservation easements are the strongest tool for historic preservation.
A preservation easement is a simple legal agreement between a property owner and HWF that preserves historic resources through covenants. Click here to learn more about preservation easements.

CHALLENGE #1: Donate a historic preservation easement.

With just one document, your historic property can be safeguarded forever. To explore this pathway to preservation, click the button below to email Travis Gilbert, HWF’s Executive Director.

2. Share Your Salvage

HWF works every day to keep historic buildings intact and in place. But when a structure is facing demolition, Legacy Architectural Salvage serves as the best-case option in a worst-case scenario. When a building is unable to be saved, Legacy steps in to salvage wood, doors, windows, siding, and other architectural elements. These materials are then sold (at salvage prices!) to members of our community, who utilize them in restoration and rehabilitation projects. (We also sell pre-1960s furniture and decor!)

CHALLENGE #2: Use the hashtag #savedbylegacy to share your DIY projects made possible thanks to materials from Legacy Architectural Salvage.

Are you a Legacy customer? We want to see how you refinish, refurbish, repurpose, revitalize, and upcycle architectural salvage! Share your before and after photos with us—be sure to tag @legacysalvage and use the hashtag #savedbylegacy! We can’t wait to see how you transform these pieces of the past. By sharing these photos, you may inspire others to dream big with their DIY projects—and you may introduce Legacy to your friends and family. If you haven’t yet explored the wonders of Legacy’s warehouse, we encourage you to stop in, find a piece of salvage that calls to you, and make it your own—we can’t wait to see progress pics!

To stay in-the-know about our latest inventory and special deals, be sure to follow Legacy Architectural Salvage (@legacysalvage) on Instagram!

All proceeds from Legacy Architectural Salvage benefit HWF and our mission of preserving and protecting the irreplaceable. 

3. Preserve Our Urban Tree Canopy

CHALLENGE #3: Become a Tree Corps volunteer!

Natural resources are an important component to our historic landscape. Trees, vegetation, and other natural features provide integrity to historic districts and sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

To grow our city’s urban tree canopy, the Alliance for Cape Fear Trees has planted hundreds of trees on public land. These young trees need your help to grow, especially as our region continues to mitigate below-average precipitation! 

The Alliance for Cape Fear Trees and the NC Urban Forest Council are offering a series of trainings, with the goal of creating a volunteer Tree Corps. Volunteers will learn how to care for and maintain young trees planted along public streets and in parks. This grant-funded training is meant to serve as a model for other municipalities across the state! Help Wilmington shine as an example and sign up to be a volunteer today. To learn more about this initiative, click here!

4. Excavate Pieces of the Past

Historic resources come in all shapes and sizes! Archaeological sites hold important clues about the past, and their preservation is paramount to ensuring stories are not lost to time. The mission of the Public Archaeology Corps (PAC) is to protect archaeological sites on privately owned land, such as their ongoing, multi-year excavation at 10 S Front Street. (To learn more about the dig, check out this StarNews article: Digging Into the Past.) HWF invites the community to volunteer at the Public Archaeology Corps’ ongoing dig on Saturday, May 13th and/or Saturday, May 27th; come out any time between 9:00am – 3:00pm! Registration is not required.

CHALLENGE #4: Volunteer with Public Archeology Corps!



Wilmington’s 5th Avenue is about to undergo some major changes: street resurfacing, sidewalk repairs, a full replacement of water and sewer utilities, and changes to the median’s vegetation. By the end of the project (slated for 2025), the road will be restriped to include one lane for vehicular traffic, on-street parking, and a dedicated bike lane in both directions.

Given that this work will greatly alter the district’s streetscapes, HWF has advocated for the preservation of historic resources and encouraged greater community outreach. The City of Wilmington is currently collecting feedback on the project. Click the button below to share your thoughts!

CHALLENGE #5: Submit feedback about the future of 5th Avenue.