Hucrest Elementary School fifth-grade teachers in collaboration with the Umpqua National Forest’s Heritage Program will be providing outdoor experiences for students through interpretive and hands-on events.

The school received two grants, one from the Oregon Archaeological Society and the other from the Douglas County Cultural Coalition/Oregon Cultural Trust, to assist in funding experiences for 80 fifth-grade students. The events include a progression of learning experiences about archaeology and the native people indigenous to the area.

June 2 — With funding provided by the Oregon Archaeological Society, students will visit Medicine Creek Rockshelter and Pictographs site in the Umpqua National Forest. Umpqua National Forest Heritage staff will conduct walking tours at interpretive sites and share insights into past events that shaped the region.

June 9 — With funding from the Douglas County Cultural Coalition, the same students will cap off their learning experience with the Umpqua Heritage Program by screening soil for cultural materials.

Students will discover how archaeologists sift through soils and identify artifacts while working with professionals. They will also learn to identify the difference between culturally modified stone and generic rocks and learn how each stone tool was used. A local flintknapper (a person who creates stone tool replicas) will be on site and conducting demonstrations.

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Education and Arts and Entertainment Reporter

Vera Westbrook is the education, nonprofits, and arts and entertainment reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4216 or by email at

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