Beyond Boundaries: A West Coast Adventure

November 7, 2012 § 2 Comments

Recently graduate students in the Historic Preservation concentration attended the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual conference entitled “Beyond Boundaries” in Spokane, Washington. This conference was true to its name as it went past the boundaries of historic preservation to include often underrepresented cultures, architectural forms, landscapes, and professions. These were seen in educational sessions for example preserving rural landscapes, agricultural buildings, and cultures, as well as round table discussions with minority groups in preservation such as Native Americans and Latinos. Incorporation between cultural and natural resources abounded as well with many sessions discussing the impacts that these resources have on each other and the people who visit them. In line with these sessions, others took the topic in a similar direction while discussing the sustainability of historic structures as a way to converse natural resources with protecting cultural ones.

In addition to the wonderful educational sessions, there were also so engaging field sessions that explored local landscapes and historic structures. Such as tours of the Hanford B-Reactor, a site integral in the Manhattan Project; the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest dam in America; visits with the Kalispel, Spokane, and Coeur D’Alene tribes; and farming sites such as the Upper Palouse and Green Bluff Orchards. Finally, of course there were numerous tours of historic sites, revitalization areas, and sustainable projects throughout Washington and Idaho. Along with these educational and field sessions there were also ample opportunities for networking with other preservationists at events like luncheons, breakfasts, flash mobs, awards ceremonies, powwows, and after hours meet ups.

Contributed by Mary Vega [Grad] student

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