Restoration of Native Plants Continues at Camp Polk Meadow Preserve

Nov 06, 2020
Newly planted vegetation will help restore habitat in and around the historic Hindman Springs portion of Camp Polk Meadow Preserve.


The Land Trust has been busy this fall! In October, we worked with volunteers and planting crews to continue to restore native plant communities at Camp Polk Meadow Preserve! Native grasses, wildflowers, and shrubs were all planted in the Hindman Springs portion of the Preserve as part of a multi-year restoration project.

Volunteers roll up plastic sheeting from soil solarization. Photo: Land Trust.
Volunteers roll up plastic sheeting from soil solarization. Photo: Land Trust.
We started the native plant restoration with soil solarization that "baked" invasive weeds and weed seeds throughout the spring and summer (learn more about this cool process). Once the soil was solarized, we planted native vegetation in this competition-free soil. Now in our third year, we solarized 1/2 acre during the spring and summer, then planted 3,800 new native plants this fall. This includes wildflowers like Oregon sunshine, milkweed, lupine, scarlet gilia, and yarrow, shrubs like rabbitbrush and currant, and five types of grasses. Later this month, we will spread native seed in the restoration area, including six grass species and blue flax.

This native plant restoration project started in 2018 when we solarized 1/2 acre and then planted 3,700 native plants. These were mostly bunchgrasses, wildflowers, and shrubs for the drier areas with some wetland wildflowers, sedges, and rushes to supplement and diversify the area near the spring and ponds. We also spread native seed—six grass species and two wildflower species: yarrow and blue flax. Last year, we solarized 1/3 acre and planted 2,500 new native plants and spread native seed.

A volunteer plants native vegetation in a newly solarized area. Photo: Land Trust.
A volunteer plants native vegetation in a newly solarized area. Photo: Land Trust.
The native plant restoration at Hindman Springs will take many years to mature, take root, and take care of itself. Until then, we will continue to manage it, including weeding and monitoring changes.

This restoration is part of a larger effort to preserve and restore the historic Hindman Springs portion of Camp Polk Meadow Preserve. We rebuilt the Hindman Springs area trail in August of 2017, stabilized the Hindman barn in January of 2018, created a new historic interpretive trail in June 2019, and have been working to restore native plant communities since 2018.


Many thanks to the Oregon Community Foundation Historic Trails Fund, the Roundhouse Foundation, the Laird Norton Foundation, East Cascade Audubon Society, and private donors for making the Hindman Springs area preservation and restoration possible!