The mission of the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1805-1806 was to explore rivers, beginning with the Missouri, in search of the most direct and practical water communication across the continent for commerce. As you probably know, Lewis and Clark led the expedition, also called the Corps of Discovery, along the Snake and Columbia Rivers as they traveled toward the Pacific Ocean.
The Franklin County Historical Museum is planning many activities to commemorate
the 200th anniversary of the Corps of Discovery. The historical museum wants to develop a "Then and Now" multimedia presentation, a virtual journey through our local shrub steppe habitat. People ask what this area looked like in 1805-1806, and how it has changed since the days of Lewis and Clark. Their questions include:
- What plants and animals did the members of the Corps see?
- Which plants and animals were used for food?
- What kind of medicine did the men use when they got sick?
- How did Lewis and Clark map the area?
- What tools did they use?
We need your help in gathering information about the plants, birds and animals currently found in our local shrub steppe habitat for our Website. What are some resources and Websites that you would recommend to others who want to learn about Lewis and Clark and/or Washington's shrub steppe? We would also like your class to help set up a unit of study which would enable other classes to participate in a variety of hands-on "in-the-field" experiences. Can you think of a creative way to make this a reality?
We understand that classes at Amistad Elementary School are currently doing research with the Lewis and Clark journals to gather information from the members of the Corps of Discovery. I suggest that you collaborate with them by exchanging information and resources. Recently, I heard that students at Southgate Elementary School are planning to do research at Zintel Canyon. You might want to contact them also.
We look forward to hearing about your creative ways for helping us with the Lewis and Clark bicentennial project. We understand a network of Lewis and Clark cybersites will also be developed. We encourage you to participate in that journey by developing a Website in collaboration with the students at Amistad and Southgate. If there is anything we can do to help, please let us know.
Enjoy the journey,
Jacque Sonderman, Curator