What do Deschutes County’s oldest structure, a streamside meadow and a conservation organization have in common? A new book entitled Biography of a Place: Passages through a Central Oregon Meadow just published by the Deschutes County Historical Society. Written by local author Martin Winch, Biography of a Place details the history and ecology of the Deschutes Basin Land Trust’s Camp Polk Meadow Preserve near Sisters.
Through a compelling story Biography of a Place explores the connection people—Native Americans, explorers, soldiers and homesteaders—have to one of Central Oregon’s oldest places: Camp Polk Meadow. Jane Kirkpatrick, author of A Sweetness to the Soul an Oregon Literary 100 Book, calls Biography of a Place “a remarkable history of a place [written] with the landscape grace of Barry Lopez and the detailed breadth of Simon Winchester.”
Brad Chalfant, executive director of the Land Trust, commented that “Biography of a Place is an extraordinary contribution to our effort to re-connect people to place.”
Camp Polk Meadow Preserve is a 145-acre meadow near Sisters that the Land Trust purchased in 2000 for its outstanding salmon and steelhead habitat and ended up with a property of great historical significance. The Preserve plays a central role in the Land Trust’s Back to Home Waters program which seeks to protect and enhance high quality habitat for the reintroduction of salmon and steelhead. As part of the relicensing of the dams on the lower Deschutes, salmon and steelhead are expected to return to the streams of the upper Deschutes, including Whychus Creek in Camp Polk Meadow, for the first time in more than 40 years. Camp Polk Meadow also serves as a Community Preserve and can be visited on your own or on a guided tour.
Biography of a Place can be purchased at the Book Barn (389-4589) and Deschutes County Historical Society (389-1813) in Bend and Paulina Springs Book Company (549-0866) in Sisters,
The Deschutes Basin Land Trust has been preserving land for clean water and air, fish and wildlife habitat and local communities since 1995. By working cooperatively with private landowners and local communities, the Land Trust helps conserve and protect the Deschutes Basin’s natural heritage. The Land Trust has protected more than 6,600 acres in the Deschutes Basin.