The location and study topics for YHP change annually; the Washington Trust is pleased to be able to host YHP throughout our beautiful state. Scroll down to learn more about each of our past locations and program topics.

YHP 2016

2016 took YHP back to Mount Rainier National Park, which we had visited during YHP 2012, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Nationl Park Service. Focusing primarily on the Longmire Historic District, students learned about the history of Mount Rainier and the Longmire Historic District, analyzed planning strategies for historic districts within national parks, and explored the importance of national parks and why they were established.

Building on the positive reception of group projects from YHP 2015, we designed four new projects to allow students to utilize their newfound understanding of historic preservation and the Longmire Historic District. Working in small groups, students examined and assessed potential methods of visitor engagement with historic and cultural resources at Mount Rainier National Park. Projects involved adaptive use, exhibit design,
graphic design, and cell phone app design. Check out our video for more details on the the YHP activities and student projects:

YHP 2015

YHP 2015 was held at the Fort Vancouver Historic National Site where we explored topics such as the early settlement of the American West and the subsequent displacement of indigenous peoples; the archaeological process; the merits of reconstruction as a method of preserving the past; and the complexity of authenticity in historic preservation. 

Participants were engaged through a variety of activities designed to help them develop their own ideas for
what constitutes successful and engaging historic preservation strategies. Students toured the reconstructed buildings at FV and experienced living history demonstrations. YHP this year featured a significant archaeology component; students were taught how FV was excavated and how the archaeological information was used to reconstruct the buildings and participated hands-on in an archaeological dig in partnership with an archaeology field school. Students also visited the Cathlapotle Plankhouse, a reconstructed Chinookan plankhouse located on the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge near Fort Vancouver. This exposed students to reconstruction from a different cultural angle, and they also learned how the plankhouse integrates into present-day Chinookan culture through community events.

This year, YHP featured a new format, involving specific projects students completed for presentation at the culminating Town Hall event:

Living History
One group of students focused on living history reenactments, a major element of public interaction at Fort Vancouver. Working with scripts developed from historic accounts and journal entries describing events at the Fort, the group received living history training and rehearsed their respective roles. They developed characters, rehearsed scenes, learned dance steps, and even practiced nineteenth century decorum.
Artifact Storyboards
With the program’s emphasis on archaeology, the curatorial staff at Fort Vancouver designed a project that challenged students to envision different ways to exhibit archaeological artifacts. A group of students was able to work with the curatorial staff at the Fort on a storyboarding and exhibit design project. Students examined a group of artifacts collected through archaeological work at the Fort, developing a storyboard for each. With consideration to origin and significance of the artifacts, students collaborated to design unique conceptual interactive exhibits that would convey information the artifacts represented.
Relaying important information in an accessible, visual format is a needed skill in the digital age. Students in the final group were tasked with relaying information related to Fort Vancouver through icons, symbols, charts, and other visual mechanisms. Through their infographics, students endeavored to convey how reconstructed buildings are effectively used to interpret the past, while providing an engaging visitor experience. Students collected data about visitation and engagement by interviewing Fort staff, volunteers, and visitors. Students formulated an objective for their infographics, compiled their data, and added visuals to help communicate their ideas.

YHP 2014

YHP 2014 was held in the Chinatown/International District of downtown Seattle where we explored the history of Asian and Pacific Islander cultures in Washington State. The program also featured 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 addressed 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 were engaged through a variety of activities designed to help them develop their own ideas for historic preservation strategies and promoting cultural awareness. Students were 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.
Program sites included 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 also covered 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 also tied in with the Nidoto Nai Yoni Japanese American Exclusion Memorial on Bainbridge Island as we asked 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 visited other local history museums and were asked to analyze how well the Asian/Pacific Islander story is represented in those places. Throughout the program, students were encouraged to analyze the information they learned, guided by teachers and knowledgeable professionals in heritage-related fields, and determine what they thought were the best methods for preservation and remembrance.

YHP 2013

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.

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.

YHP 2012

Discover Washington: Youth Heritage Project  2012 was based in the Yakima Valley and Mount Rainier National Park. 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.