In the pilot year of summer 2012, the NPS Archeology Program partnered with Groundwork Anacostia River DC to carry out the Urban Archeology Corps at Fort Mahan, one of the Fort Circle Parks and part of the Civil War Defenses of Washington. The work experience aimed to broaden urban youths’ knowledge about the communities east of the Anacostia River, engender stewardship in the landscapes of the past and present, and provide new possibilities for future employment.
The Urban Archeology Corps furthers the Call to Action by connecting youth and diverse communities to a deeper understanding of culture and heritage preservation, in addition to the NPS, as described in the actions Step by Step, History Lesson, In My Backyard, Stop Talking and Listen, Live and Learn, and Value Diversity.
Over the course of ten weeks, the youth gained experience in what archeology is and what archeologists do, as well as the resources available to learn and visit archeology and related fields around DC. They also gained insight into working for the NPS in cultural resource fields. Through consultation with NPS staff, comparative site visits to NPS units and other places, archival research and oral history, the youth learned about using archeology as an interdisciplinary method to explore a cultural landscape and its material culture over time. At the close of the work experience, the youth created videos that communicated their ideas about the history and future management of Fort Mahan to the NPS.
Funding and support for the Urban Archeology Corps came from the Office of the Deputy Director for Communications and Community Assistance, the NPS Youth Programs Office, the NPS Cultural Resources Directorate, and the National Park Foundation.
Call to action items: Step by Step, History Lesson, In My Backyard, Stop Talking and Listen, Live and Learn, Value Diversity
State: Washington, DC
Year accomplished: 2012
For more information, please contact Teresa Moyer.