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A LAF Success Story

When I founded the Loudoun Archaeological Foundation, Inc. (LAF) in January of 2007, I had a number of specific goals in mind, among which were:


1.      Conducting year round archaeological research/investigations as a means of educating the public regarding local cultural resources.

2.      Expanding the current list/inventory of . . . archaeological sites in Loudoun County.  

3.      Tailoring [our] archaeological education programs to the “whole community” (all ages, sectors in the community): from the public/private school systems to senior groups.

4.      Acquiring, if appropriate, various certain endangered historic/prehistoric structures/properties in Loudoun County for archaeological education/preservation purposes.

5.      Working cooperatively with Virginia state and local government historic preservation agencies and local business and preservation groups.


These goals were based on my concerns over the negative impact of current fast-paced urban development on heritage resources and a rapidly growing community’s unfamiliarity with its rich, diverse culture history. I believed then, as I do now, that community-service (free) archaeological research/educational programs were the key to the LAF’s mission and that its primary purpose was to first promote the community’s appreciation and understanding of its historic/prehistoric heritage while raising awareness of its endangerment. Needless to say, I am pleased that we have already achieved most of these goals in just over two years.


However, there was another unstated goal that I also hoped to achieve:  that through LAF’s public education efforts, we could encourage (and assist) some students participating in our programs to pursue archaeology and preservation as a career choice.


The recent decision by Katy Catlin to pursue graduate work in archaeology after nearly three years of participating in LAF’s archaeological public education programs and the associated academic programs at the Loudoun Campus of the Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC), represents the fruition of that previously unstated, but important, goal. And I am so pleased that we were able to assist her with a small, but helpful, stipend as our first LAF Scholarship Award. I hope that other LAF and NVCC students will make similar choices and LAF might provide future financial assistance.


                                                                                                            David T. Clark, PhD.

                                                                                                        Executive Director, LAF

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