Title

The Willamette: A Story of Oregon's Green River

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The Willamette River flows from its origins in the mountains outside Eugene, Oregon, north to its confluence with the great Columbia. For thousands of years, the river has nourished the Willamette Valley and her people; my family has lived in the valley since the first missionaries settled in the region around 1840, deeply rooted in the land and its story. This essay delves into the changing nature of our relationship with the river, particularly in regards to the decline in river transport, the centrality of the port of Portland in the global market, and the century-long environmental cleanup efforts that extend to present day.

My multi-faceted approach to the history of the river relies on various research methods, including: reading of historical and environmental documents; personal experience; and interviews with family members. Through my analysis of historical, ecological, and spiritual aspects of the Willamette, I have found that the river is a symbol of continuity and beauty in the Pacific Northwest, as well as a call to action for my generation and those that follow to consciously mold a gentler way of living with the land. In the presentation, I will read selections from the essay and speak to the purpose of this project - to better understand the river I love and our relationship to it.

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Apr 12th, 2:40 PM Apr 12th, 3:00 PM

The Willamette: A Story of Oregon's Green River

UC 332

The Willamette River flows from its origins in the mountains outside Eugene, Oregon, north to its confluence with the great Columbia. For thousands of years, the river has nourished the Willamette Valley and her people; my family has lived in the valley since the first missionaries settled in the region around 1840, deeply rooted in the land and its story. This essay delves into the changing nature of our relationship with the river, particularly in regards to the decline in river transport, the centrality of the port of Portland in the global market, and the century-long environmental cleanup efforts that extend to present day.

My multi-faceted approach to the history of the river relies on various research methods, including: reading of historical and environmental documents; personal experience; and interviews with family members. Through my analysis of historical, ecological, and spiritual aspects of the Willamette, I have found that the river is a symbol of continuity and beauty in the Pacific Northwest, as well as a call to action for my generation and those that follow to consciously mold a gentler way of living with the land. In the presentation, I will read selections from the essay and speak to the purpose of this project - to better understand the river I love and our relationship to it.