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Preserve America Youth Summit

Preserve America Youth Summits

The Mission of the Preserve America Youth Summits is to provide engaging, on-site, interactive learning experiences for students and educators which engage them in study of historic preservation, conservation, and heritage tourism issues with the primary goal of motivating them to become future stewards of historic communities, sites and land, shape policy at the local state and national level, and provide lasting impact on communities for generations to come.

The future of Historic Preservation

The Preserve America Youth Summit Program began in 2007 with the goal of creating an opportunity for young people aged 13 to 18 to get out of the classroom and into the field to learn about history, archaeology, heritage tourism, and preservation. Interacting directly with community partners such as federal, state and local governments and agencies as well as non-profit historic preservation, tourism, community, and education organizations, each Youth Summit provides interactive, outcome-driven learning experiences and service opportunities. As part of the program, the students reflect what they learn in the field so that they may provide critical feedback and policy advice to then help partners develop meaningful and relevant methods to reach younger audiences.

The only program of its type in the country, the Youth Summits have received national attention for the accomplishments of the experiences offered to over 1,500 students and their teachers. The Summits work to achieve four primary objectives: connecting youth and teachers to historic places; involving students in historic preservation activities; expanding tools to support teachers’ efforts in heritage and preservation education; and bolstering local preservation and heritage tourism efforts.


  • Foster understanding of heritage, history, and historic places
  • Connect youth to places associated with diverse cultures and viewpoints
  • Involve students in historic preservation and service-learning projects
  • Expand tools to support educators’ classroom efforts, while providing meaningful and relevant 21st century learning applications
  • Bolster local preservation and heritage tourism efforts of communities and historic sites
  • Gain youth perspectives on preservation and heritage tourism issues

The Preserve America Youth Summits are a program of Conservation Legacy, a national 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to supporting locally based conservation, preservation and educational service programs that empower individuals to positively impact their lives, their communities and the environment. In addition to Summits, Conservation Legacy programs include the Appalachian Conservation Corps, Arizona Conservation Corps, Conservation Corps New Mexico, Conservation Corps North Carolina, Southeast Conservation Corps, Southwest Conservation Corps, and Stewards Individual Placement Program.

The organization, founded in 1998, is headquartered in Colorado and operates in nearly all 50 states from offices operating year-round. Working with other state and local partners, the Youth Summit will be managed by Conservation Legacy and staffed by the Youth Summit team with a history of success in organizing youth events having presented numerous Youth Summits since 2007.

Preserve America Youth Summits is a Program of Conservation Legacy

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