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Willow Creek Preserve (Eugene, Oregon)

 

Willow Creek Preserve -- Photo  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com

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Willow Creek Preserve is a special area of native wet prairie in Oregon's Willamette valley.  It is one of the last holdouts of a vast landscape that once stretched for over a hundred miles along the banks of the Willamette river.  Over the years most of the habitat has been drained, converted to farmland, overgrown with non-native plants, or developed.  

Amazingly, this spot is close to downtown Eugene, Oregon on an old abandoned farm.  The Nature Conservancy purchased the land when it was found to hold several threatened or endangered species, including Fender's blue butterfly and Bradshaw's lomatium.   In the photo above are blue camas (Camassia quamash) and yellow buttercup flowers (Ranunculus occidentalis).  In all, there are over 200 native plant, 100 bird, and 25 butterfly species on the preserve.  

Maintaining the area in its native state is hard work, and requires periodic removal of non-native plants, monitoring human impact, and careful use of fire which some plants depend on for their life cycles.  The year before this picture was taken there was a controlled burn that enhanced the growth of the blue camas flowers.  Thanks to the efforts of my friend Charlie Quinn, who helps with fundraising to support the preserve, and other volunteers, land donors, and agencies such at the Bonneville Power Administration and Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, this place is protected for all to enjoy.  

 
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Info:  Chromira digital print of Velvia 4x5 chrome, Fuji Crystal Archive CD paper
 

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