WHAT IS YOUTH HERITAGE PROJECT (YHP)? An annual 5-day (overnight) heritage field school that engages high school age youth and teachers by connecting them to historic, cultural, and natural resources in Washington. YHP is designed to introduce historic preservation to students and excite the next generation of leaders that will advocate for historic places.



YHP engages students hands-on as they expand their knowledge about historic preservation and develop an understanding of how cultural resources affect a community. Participants are asked to develop their own ideas about why preservation matters and how remembering the past can be a crucial part of a sustainable future. In addition to exposing students to the benefits of historic preservation, YHP strives to teach youth that they can be a part of shaping their own communities through participation and activism. The proposed Washington State National Maritime Heritage Area will be the main topic of this year’s YHP. For many communities in Washington, including Tacoma, this heritage area would promote tourism and increase public awareness of the importance of Washington’s waterways to its history, economy, and development.
  • Take a ride on a historic fishing vessel and get a chance to pilot it!
  • Visit a renovated part of a former “rails to sails” warehouse that once stretched over a mile
  • Help with a boat building project at a local woodshop
This year our student projects will have video components. We will be teaching participants about the power of visual storytelling and guiding them as they document and share their expierence at YHP and what they learn about Washington's maritime heritage.





Any high school-age youth may apply; this includes seniors who will graduate in the spring of 2017 and 8th graders who will enter high school in fall of 2017. Full program scholarships covering lodging, meals, programming, and travel during YHP activities will be awarded to all accepted applicants. 

Participants are responsible for their own travel to and from the YHP site in Tacoma or to downtown Seattle (carpool), but additional scholarship funds may be available for travel assistance based on financial need.

All applications are individual—students apply independently of their teachers and vice versa.



Each year we receive more applications than we can accept. Participants will be selected based on their thoughtful and thorough answers to the following questions:
  • Why are you interested in participating in YHP in downtown Tacoma?
  • What is your favorite historic building or place and why?
  • This year at YHP we will be learning about Washington’s maritime heritage. Why do you think maritime heritage/history is important to study?
Applications are due WEDNESDAY, MAY 31, 2017.




Contact Jennifer Mortensen with any questions about YHP.

Download our YHP 2017 flyer to help spread the word!

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Thank you to our program partners for allowing us to offer YHP at no cost to our participants: