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The Sheridan Community Land Trust receives a grant for its Explore History programs

SCLT NextFifty
Sheridan Community Land Trust
Residents participate in an Explore History event, a collaborative effort of the the Sheridan Community Land Trust and the Hub on Smith. A recent grant from the NextFifty initiative aims to help older adults engage in community activities, build fellowship and improve health and overall well-being.

The Sheridan Community Land Trust (SCLT) recently received a grant from the NextFifty Initiative for its Explore History program that caters to older adults.

Explore History is a collaborative effort undertaken with the Hub on Smith, formerly known as the Sheridan Senior Center. The focus of the program is to engage older adults with educational opportunities as well as to improve overall health and well-being through shared experiences.

“What makes the Explore History program so unique and such a fantastic opportunity for people here in Sheridan County is [having] a place to be able to come together and be able to remember, share fellowship, share stories and really be able to tell their stories from living the history that occurred in our region,” said Chris Vrba, Director of Marketing and Development with SCLT. “We will lose the stories of our past if they’re not preserved today.”

This marks the second year that NextFifty has helped provide financial assistance to the Explore History program. Previous events have covered several aspects of local history, including the heydays of the coal mining towns of Acme, Kleenburn, and Monarch, in addition to the Tongue River Tie Flume, which was used to float railroad ties from the Big Horn mountains down to the plains to be used by the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q).

The popularity of the program led it to be expanded to the Tongue River Valley Community Center in Dayton. Since February, events have been held on the third Tuesday of each month at 10:30 while Sheridan-based events are held every second Tuesday of the month at 10:30.

“The program can be a presentation, a tour, [and] we’ve gone on the Black Diamond Trail driving tour,” said Carrie Edinger, Historical Program Manager and Events Coordinator with SCLT.

The summer schedule is still a work in progress, though some of the planned events include partnering with Trail End State Historic Site in June and touching on the history of the Sheridan WYO Rodeo in July. Edinger said that additional exploration of the Black Diamond Trail and a field trip to Trail End for those in the Tongue River Valley is also set to take place in June.

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