Photo: Bernd Mohr

Cultivating a Sense of Place: Voices of the Willamette Valley

Environmental History Project  

Have you ever wondered what the Willamette River looked like to the Kalapuya people in the 1800s? To the first travelers on the Oregon Trail? Or even to your grandparents?

Do you have a favorite memory centered around the Willamette River? It seems that most people do!

The river has always been a central element in the lives of Eugene's inhabitants. It is an integral part of how the region has developed economically, socially, culturally and politically. We are a group of U of O students interested in what determines stewardship and awareness of landscape. Our goal in this project is to unearth oral histories surrounding the Willamette River in order to build an educational tool that represents the people of the community

The river and the surrounding valley has transformed over time, both in terms of ecology and as it is perceived by the valley's residents. This project highlights diverse perspectives that reflect people's connections with their local environment. These stories will then be made available to the public. Through this collaborative effort we hope to highlight Eugene's unique environmental and cultural community.

Hear the Voices of the River!