Youth Heritage Project

Engaging youth in historic preservation

What is Youth Heritage Project?

Youth Heritage Project is an annual multi-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 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. Through YHP the Washington Trust seeks to inspire and excite our youth — the next generation of community leaders — to get involved and advocate for saving the places that matter to them.

The location and study topics for YHP change annually and any high school-age youth may apply. Questions about YHP? Please contact us by email.

Program History

YHP 2017 – Tacoma & Gig Harbor

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation held our sixth-annual Youth Heritage Project in Tacoma and Gig Harbor with a focus on maritime heritage. Washington State’s coastal areas have been defined by their relationship to saltwater, creating a shared maritime heritage. From Native American canoe cultures to the age of exploration to the continued growth and development of maritime industry, maritime heritage and culture have shaped western Washington and contributed to the story of our development as a nation. The Washington Trust has been a strong voice of support for the designation of Washington’s saltwater coast as a National Maritime Heritage Area, a move which would bolster efforts to convey the region’s historic and cultural significance.

Student Videos                    Final Report

Apply to attend YHP 2018 – North Cascades National Park

Full program scholarships covering lodging, meals, programming, and travel during YHP activities will be awarded to all accepted applicants making the program free of cost. Any high school-age youth may apply; this includes seniors who will graduate in the spring of 2018 and 8th graders who will enter high school in fall of 2018. Full program scholarships covering lodging, meals, programming, and travel during YHP activities will be awarded to all accepted applicants. All applications are individual—students apply independently of their teachers and vice versa. 

The application for YHP 2018  in North Cascades National Park is not yet open. 

YHP on Facebook


Thank you to our program partners for allowing us to offer YHP at no cost to our participants:
Department of Archaeology + Historic Preservation