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P.O. Box 646410, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6410 USA
Camas Meadow Restoration: 
 
Camas plants (Camassia quamash) have a bright blue or white stalk of flowers and grow from a bulb that favors wet meadows that dry out by mid summer.  One of the projects supported by the WSU Native Plant & Landscape Restoration Nursery is to grow bulbs to more widely restore the beautiful flowers of camas, originally an important food plant for the region's native peoples. 
 
Prior to Euro-American settlement, camas meadows and prairies formed dense, dark-blue carpets that first appeared to be lakes to early explorers, like those in the Lewis and Clark expedition.  Camas bulbs were so valuable that combined with other root foods, they probably formed over 50% of the diet of native people and bitter conflicts were fought over access to prime camas meadows when white land settlement restricted traditional land use.
 
WSU Pullman campus contains numerous sites that are suitable for the reintroduction and restoration of camas bulbs in wet meadow habitats.  However, the techniques for restoring wet meadows in former Palouse Prairie are not well documented and this project is needed to develop basic ecological information that can then be applied in restoration efforts.
 
Suitability:
 
This campus ecology project is especially suitable for undergraduate or graduate students interested in botany and plant ecology, environmental horticulture, landscape architecture and design, natural resource management, and restoration ecology.
 
Schedule:
 
This project involves work during spring and summer, but has aspects that continue during most of the year, including seed collection, growing new bulbs, and conducting studies of restoration success and techniques. Individuals wishing to participate in this study should contact the Campus & Community Ecology Project.
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