September 2022
After a grueling application process, the California Missions Foundation was today awarded its fifth Save America’s Treasures grant for a major project at a California Mission.

The $500,000 grant from the Interior Department’s National Parks Service is restricted for the important retrofit of the church at Mission Santa Inés.The California Mission Foundation is the only grantee in California to receive one of the National Parks Service issued Save America’s Treasurers (SAT) grants.

Over the past 18 months, CMF staff worked with Santa Inés Mission officials on the detailed application that successfully led to the awarding of one of 39 SAT grants handed out today, totaling $24.25 million.

“This is another great moment for the preservation of our California Missions,” said CMF Chairman Michael Imwalle. “CMF is honored to be playing an important role in this fifth SAT grant for a California Mission.”

The retrofit project at Mission Santa Inés is long overdue, and will fortify the historic church in hopes of preventing major damage during an earthquake. Work on the current mission church began in 1804, and today forms part of a National Historic Landmark area that also includes surrounding mission buildings and the mission grist mill operated by the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.
Click above picture to access more details on
Mission Santa Inés Retrofit.
“As with all of the California Missions and related historic sites, Mission Santa Inés is an important part of our nation’s history,” said CMF Executive Director David Bolton. “The National Parks Service again recognizes the significance of our California Missions and how they relate to so many of the stories told today. It is crucial that we preserve and conserve all that is part of this key chapter of our history.”

“Through private and public investments, the Save America’s Treasures program supports community-based preservation and conservation work on some of our nation’s most important collections, artifacts, structures, and sites for the benefit of future generations,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams. 

Previously, CMF was instrumental in the awarding of Save America’s Treasures grants for Missions Santa Barbara, San Miguel, Carmel and San Luis Rey. Like previous SAT grants, this is a matching grant, and CMF will be working closely with Mission Santa Inés to help raise the $500,000 match.

Save America’s Treasures, funded through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), provided $356 million to more than 1,326 projects between 1999 and 2020. Requiring a dollar-for-dollar private match, these grants have leveraged more than $500 million in private investment and contributed more than 16,000 jobs to local and state economies. 

Buildings and collections which have previously received Save America’s Treasures grants are not eligible to receive a second grant for the same project. This year’s awards of $24.25 million will leverage more than $69 million in private and public investment.

Established in 1977, the HPF is authorized at $150 million per year through 2023 and has provided more than $2 billion in historic preservation grants to states, tribes, local governments, and non-profit organizations. Administered by the NPS, HPF grant funds are appropriated by Congress to support a variety of historic preservation projects to help preserve the nation’s cultural resources.
As the world continues to remember Queen Elizabeth II, CMF takes a moment to look back at her 1983 visit to Old Mission Santa Barbara. Fr. Virgil Cordano, O.F.M., the pastor at Old Mission Santa Barbara at the time, officially greeted Her Majesty the Queen, Prince Phillip, and President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan on the steps of the historic California Mission. He gave Her Majesty the Queen a tour through the Mission's sacred gardens. Queen Elizabeth II was in California as part of a 10-day West Coast visit that included a stop at the Reagan Ranch or "Rancho del Cielo," part of a Mexican mission lands grant. The Ranch was part of the sprawling acreage granted to José Francisco Ortega, the First Comandante at Spain's Royal Presidio at Santa Barbara. 

The CMF Board of Directors is proud to announce details regarding the 40th Annual California Missions and Presidios Annual Conference presented by the California Missions Foundation.

The 2023 conference will feature historic Sonoma and the 200th Anniversary of the founding of its mission, San Francisco Solano. By popular demand, the upcoming conference will have both virtual and in-person components. The February Presidents Day Weekend virtual portion of the conference will include the traditional paper presentations, the CMF annual membership meeting, the 2023 Keynote Address, and the CMF Annual Awards. In addition, there will be two special afternoons. 

Friday afternoon will focus on the preservation of the California Missions and related historic sites, including experts, case studies, panels and discussion. Saturday will have a special afternoon devoted to food and wine “Along the Mission Trail”.

The in-person portion of the conference will be held in October and will feature an on-site, close-up, look at historic Sonoma with expert tours, stories and discussions.

2023 CMF Conference Schedule


Friday, February 17, 2023
1:00 – 5:00      An Afternoon of Mission and Historic Site Preservation
6:00 – 8:00       An Evening with CMF Annual Meeting and Awards (Virtual)
2023 Keynote Address

Saturday, February 18, 2023
8:30 – 12:00    A Morning focusing on Historic Sonoma
1:00 – 5:00      An Afternoon of Food and Wine “Along the Mission Trail”


At Mission San Franciso Solano in Sonoma, CA

Saturday, October 21, 2023
9:00 – 3:00 A Day in Historic Sonoma

APRIL, 2023

At Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, CA

Friday, March 31, 2023
1:00 – 3:00 CMF Docents Meeting 2023
4:00 – 6:00 CMF Missions and Presidios Directors and Staff Meeting 2023
Optional Overnight at Mission San Luis Rey

Saturday, April 1, 2023
9:00 – 3:00 A Day at historic Mission San Luis Rey
Optional Overnight at Mission San Luis Rey

Sunday, April 2, 2023
Optional morning Mass at the Mission
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About California Missions Foundation

Nothing defines California's heritage as significantly or emotionally as do the 21 missions that were founded along the coast from San Diego to Sonoma. Their beauty, stature, and character underlie the formation of California. All 21 missions are California Historical Landmarks; many have also been designated National Historic Landmarks. The missions are among the most popular tourist destinations in the state, attracting millions of visitors each year.

Founded in 1998, the California Missions Foundation was established with the objective of preserving and protecting the missions. The Foundation is the only statewide organization dedicated to the long-term preservation and restoration needs of all California missions and their associated historic and cultural resources for public benefit.