The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is pleased to announce that our third annual Discover Washington: Youth Heritage Project will be held July 9-12, 2014 in the vibrant Chinatown/International District in downtown Seattle, where we will be exploring the history of Asian and Pacific Islander cultures in Washington State. Although the program will take place in Seattle (and also nearby related sites in the Puget Sound), we will still be seeking student applications from all across the state. We feel it is crucial to engage as wide and diverse body of students as possible. 

The application period for YHP 2014 is closed. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Mortensen at jmortensen@preservewa.org.

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What is YHP?

Discover Washington: Youth Heritage Project (YHP) is a 4-day interactive field-school that engages high school students and teachers by connecting them to historic, cultural, and natural resources. YHP is designed to introduce the topics of preservation and stewardship to a younger generation in order to cultivate future leaders in the preservation movement to save the places that matter in Washington State.
The program works to achieve four primary objectives:
  • connect youth and teachers to historic places and landscapes;
  • engage students in historic preservation and conservation activities;
  • expand tools to support teachers’ educational efforts around the built and natural environment; and
  • excite the next generation of advocates and stewards of our natural and historic resources.

Why should you be interested in YHP?

It's free for students and teachers to attend to attend. We've been working hard applying for grants and fundraising so that we can offer our program with no cost to any participant who wants to apply.

Students can earn service hours while having fun. Simple as that - we'll sign off on 10 service hours for any student who participates. (We're also working on getting continuing education credits for teachers who attend - stay tuned for more info.)

We want students and teachers to get excited about historic places. We are passionate about preservation; we want to share our knowledge with you and hear what you have to say. As we ask students to engage in the process of understanding heritage and give us feedback, we allow YHP participants to become preservation consultants.

What's happening for YHP 2014?

The location and study topics for YHP change annually; in 2014, YHP will take place in the Chinatown/International District (C-ID) in downtown Seattle. The program will also feature excursions to nearby Port Gamble and Bainbridge Island to visit additional sites related to the history of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in the Pacific Northwest. The program will address several historic topics including immigration, working and making a life in a new country, maintaining cultural roots, incarceration during World War II, and the importance of preserving cultural and heritage resources that tell these stories.

Participants will be engaged through a variety of activities designed to help them develop their own ideas for historic preservation strategies and promoting cultural awareness. Students will be asked to consider the visibility or recognition of Asian/Pacific Islander cultures in the Northwest, comparing the vibrant C-ID with places where the cultures may not be quite as visually present.

Planned program sites include the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service Building located in the C-ID which, in addition to being the starting point for many immigrants who came to Seattle in the early 20th Century, now presents a compelling case study of adaptive use for the students to consider. The program will also cover sites related to starting life as an Asian/American immigrant in the Northwest, such as Port Gamble, where Asian families worked in the lumber industry; sites on Bainbridge Island which were historically run as farms by Asian families; and the Panama Hotel, a building with an incredibly rich cultural history in the heart of the C-ID. The story of the Panama Hotel will also tie in with the Nidoto Nai Yoni Memorial on Bainbridge Island as we ask students to consider the complex question of how we remember and preserve difficult pieces of the past. In addition to the Wing Luke Museum, one of our planning partners, participants will be visiting other local history museums and asked to analyze how well the Asian/Pacific Islander story is represented in those places. Throughout the program, students will be encouraged to analyze the information they are learning, guided by knowledgeable professionals in heritage-related fields, and determine what they think are the best methods for preservation and remembrance.

Why is YHP important?

YHP engages participants hands-on as they actively expand their knowledge of conservation, preservation, the built environment, and community. Participants will come away with a better understanding of the connection and interdependency of cultural resources, how they relate to the economy, and how they affect a community. They are asked to develop their own ideas about why preservation matters, causing a deeper sense of introspection about what heritage and history means.

A key component and desired outcome of YHP is for participants to take the knowledge, interest and excitement for preservation and conservation fostered by the program back to their own communities. The program seeks to inspire the next generation of preservation leaders to become stewards of our precious historic and natural resources. Most importantly, students will learn through YHP that the future of any community is the result of deliberate strategies, actions and choices and that they can be a part of shaping their own communities through their own participation and activism.

Program background

Discover Washington: Youth Heritage Project builds on two successful years with programs based in the Yakima Valley and Mount Rainier National Park in 2012 and Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve in 2013. The 2012 event brought together almost 30 students and six teachers with topics focusing on Latino history and culture. Participants visited sites of historical and cultural significance in the Yakima Valley and explored opportunities for making Mount Rainier National Park more accessible to all cultures. Special focus was given to heritage tourism and preservation related issues. The program culminated in a town hall where the students presented their findings and recommendations to a panel of invited guests with a vested interest in improving heritage representation and cultural understanding. The Washington Trust partnered with consultants from Colorado, the National Park Foundation’s American Latino Heritage Fund, the National Park Service, and the Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation to produce this first-ever hands-on preservation youth program in Washington State.

The 2013 program was at Ebey’s Landing, the nation’s first historical reserve, which integrates historic farms, a seaside town, native and pioneer land use traditions and ecologically significant areas. The program focused on three programmatic areas: agriculture; landscape and the built environment; and commerce (main street and maritime). Participants engaged in a variet of hands-on activities including harvesting a food crop, restoring wooden windows, touring downtown Coupeville with an expert on Main Street development, and visiting a mussel farm. These activities, along with presentations, tours and demonstrations, helped the students as they explored the themes of partnerships and preservation; maintaining character, and saving historic places that matter. Students were introduced to existing tools, incentives and regulations that are currently in place to preserve the unique character of Ebey’s and guide its development. Ultimately, students answered the question of how to protect Ebey’s rural character and presented their recommendations to invited officials, stakeholders and community members at the closing Town Hall-style meeting. Students were also be encouraged to think about ways they can apply the tools, incentives, and lessons about preservation that they learned about over the course of the four days in their own communities.

In the transition between the 2012 and 2013 programs, we took the lessons from our Colorado consultants and tailored the program to our state. YHP became a stronger, more cohesive educational program that reflects the values and character of Washington State. We look forward to YHP 2014 adding to the previous success and moving forward to different areas of the state with varying program themes exploring the history of Washington.

To get an idea about the types of activiies students participate in during our Youth Heritage Project, watch one of our videos from YHP 2013 at Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve:

Teaser (1 min):   Full Video (10 min):
 

For more information about last year's program, visit our YHP 2013 Ebey's Landing page.

How will the participants benefit from YHP?

Education about the historic significance of the featured places in the YHP curriculum is the most recognizable benefit of the program, but the participants also gain a host of analytical skills and a deeper understanding of how the world around them relates to our collective past.

Our programs engage participants hands-on as they actively expand their knowledge of conservation, preservation, the built environment, and community. Participants come away with a better understanding of the connection and interdependency of cultural resources, how they relate to the economy, and how they affect a community. They are asked to develop their own ideas about why preservation matters, causing a deeper sense of introspection about what heritage and history means. We ask students to synthesize what they learn, look at their own communities through a more holistic lens, and find ways to apply the things they’ve learned.

The participants will also benefit from opportunities to meet with people involved in the C-ID community including historians, preservationists, community leaders, business owners, first-generation immigrants as well as a diverse group of students and teachers from all over the state. The Heritage Youth Project gives participants an opportunity to make new friends, learn of job or career opportunities, and connect with people who share their interests.

Participants will learn about the challenges faced by those who work to protect and conserve the cultural and built heritage of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the Northwest and what tools are being used to help. They will be exposed to occupations, lifestyles, and histories they may not have considered, and will be encouraged to develop analytical thinking and translate those ideas into public speaking skills. Most importantly, they will learn that the future of any community is the result of deliberate strategies, actions and choices and that they can be a part of shaping their own communities through their own actions and activism.

How will the community benefit from YHP?

The Washington Trust seeks to expand the reach of YHP by engaging similarly-minded organizations (both on statewide and local levels) to offer internships, volunteer opportunities, or additional educational programming for interested YHP participants. YHP can serve as a catalyst to pique students’ interests in new fields of study, and could connect them with longer-term engagement in heritage preservation and sustainability.

A key component and desired outcome of YHP is for participants to take the knowledge, interest and excitement for preservation and conservation fostered by the program back to their own communities. The program will benefit communities throughout the state as the participants return and become involved in local preservation and conservation efforts. The program seeks to inspire the next generation of preservation and environmental leaders to become stewards of our precious historic and natural resources.





Generous support provided by our program partners, the National Park Service and the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.