Photo: Gary Miller.

Celebrating the Land Trust's 25th Anniversary

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Deschutes Land Trust! Explore some of the amazing things we have accomplished together!

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This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Deschutes Land Trust!
Together we’ve ensured Central Oregon’s meadows, forests, and canyons—all critical for wildlife and people—are protected forever. Here are some of the amazing things we have accomplished together:

  • 17,523 acres conserved! 

  • 10 Community Preserves established. Located throughout Central Oregon, our Community Preserves are places where wildlife and people can grow and thrive.

  • 8 private properties conserved via land preservation agreements with the landowners. Learn more about our privately-owned conserved lands.

  • 286,757 native wildflowers, shrubs and trees planted to help improve the health of our forests, meadows and streams.

  • 91,560 birds observed at Camp Polk Meadow Preserve via our volunteer bird survey program.

  • 1,000 acres of juniper and pine forest restored to reduce wildfire hazards and promote healthier natural systems.

  • 98,459 volunteer hours contributed to pulling weeds, leading hikes, sealing envelopes, taking photos, cleaning trails, and more! Volunteer with us.

  • 10,000 people explored our protected lands via our free Walks + Hikes and other guided outings.

  • 100+ partnerships built to be more effective in our work. Learn more about our partners.

In honor of the Land Trust's 25th anniversary, we're sharing the stories of our flagship Preserves—the places, the people who have helped care for them, and the power they have to create a brighter future.

  • How It All Began: Our Founding Story. The clink of glasses and chatter surrounded the table. Stories were shared and a few passionate folks pitched a new idea for a way to protect the high desert home they had all come to love...

  • Community members help with the restoration of Whychus Creek. Photo: M.A. Willson.
    Community members help with the restoration of Whychus Creek. Photo: M.A. Willson.
    The Story of Camp Polk Meadow Preserve. What does Camp Polk Meadow Preserve mean for you? For some, it might be your birding hotspot in Central Oregon. For others, it's a relaxing place to spend a peaceful morning in nature. For the Deschutes Land Trust, it reminds us of our community...

  • The Story of Skyline Forest. It all starts with a seed. Small and almost weightless. Unassuming with no indication of what it will become one day. The tree grows slowly, barely noticeable at first. But then it shoots up towards the heavens, reaching for the sunlight...

  • The Story of the Metolius PreserveIt all started with quiet conversations. The first was between Toni Foster, founder of the Friends of the Metolius, and Brad Chalfant, founder and executive director of the Land Trust, concerning threats to Oregon's beloved Metolius River...

  • The Story of Indian Ford Meadow Preserve. You can stand there with the sun warming your face, the wind gently bending the grasses, the snow-capped mountains looking down at you and you feel connected. This humble little meadow near Sisters, Oregon has inspired so many over the years...

  • The Story of Whychus Canyon Preserve. Imagine you are at Whychus Creek. Close your eyes as you lean against a tree trunk, shaded from the high desert sun. Listen to the gurgling and rushing sounds of the creek. Songbirds call out as they go about their day. Bumblebees buzz around, searching for sweet nectar. The air around the creek feels cool on your face and arms. The creek is calming and grounding. This is worth protecting for our community...