Maggie Sprague and Russell Kissick, Founders of the Plano Conservancy
Preserving Plano's history
The formation of the Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. in 2001 resulted from efforts of former Heritage Commission members and like-minded citizens who recognized the need for a local non-profit that would advocate for preservation concerns in the community. Under the guidelines of a not-for-profit corporation, members would be empowered to seek funds for preservation projects, promote awareness of preservation education, and protect and preserve Plano's heritage resources for future generations.
This vision was embraced by City Council. Through their efforts a year-long contractual agreement was structured allowing for the Conservancy to operate the Interurban Railway Museum in exchange for office space. In the course of the first year’s business the Conservancy established enough credibility to become eligible for funding under the hotel/motel tax provisions. During the initial startup, many civic partnerships were established including those with Plano Independent School District, City of Plano Parks and Recreation Department, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, and various corporate and local businesses.
While daily seeking new ideas and avenues to enhance the Interurban Railway Museum, the Conservancy has been successful in offering educational programming to all ages, sponsoring National Preservation Week activities, undertaking an ongoing oral history program, and providing scholarships to college students pursuing degrees in historic preservation.