Montessori Class Explores Land Hill Heritage Site
On September 28, 2012, thirty students and parents from St. George’s Dayspring Montessori school met to explore Land Hill Heritage Site’s rich archaeology. Located within the Santa Clara/Land Hill Area of Critical Environment Concern, the heritage site contains numerous prehistoric sites of Ancestral Puebloan and Southern Paiute origin. SGFO Archeologist Bill Banek and Dixie/Arizona Strip Interpretive Association (D/ASIA) Program Coordinator Katherine Fuselier lead the Montessori group on a bouldering adventure that was a journey through time.
Students aged 6 through 9 hiked a rugged trail through towering blocks of rock inscribed with petroglyphs. This evidence of ancient cultures was used to teach the students about the origins of language and writing. The main trail to the petroglyph area is Tempi’po’op, which means “rock writing” in Southern Paiute
In addition to exploring ancient writing first hand, students were also introduced to the importance of land stewardship. Resources within this ACEC have been damaged in the past by local youth. Banek shared with the students what types of vandalism have taken place and how vandalism damages this precious resource. He also explained how vandalism can have possible long-term consequences, affecting the ability for future generations to enjoy.
Montessori philosophy identifies education as a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment. Lands within the St. George Field Office offer many experiences and are an ideal classroom environment.
D/ASIA and agency partners, including the BLM, identified expansion of youth educational programs and activities as a priority within the Partnership’s Strategic plan. Collaborating classroom and field trip opportunities with Dayspring Montessori is a new school partnership and one D/ASIA and the Agencies look forward to developing and expanding.