Newsletter  |  Issue 3

Letter from Us

In this third issue of our newsletter, we are excited to revisit the core vision that drives the High Desert Project. 

During the first official planning meeting for the High Desert Project, a member of the Steering Committee asked us what we envisioned for the project not just for today but over the next 75-years.  Thus, the challenge to create an ambitious 75-year vision for the initiative was born.  

At the heart of this vision is the recognition that the goals for the High Desert Project require time and intention. We’ve heard from participants a strong desire to extend these conversations outside of your ten-person cohort. Through a 75-year vision and a growing number of alumni, we have the power to touch the lives of every single individual in the High Desert region—to connect, inspire, and empower our communities. 

Last year, we welcomed 16 individuals to the Museum for our first reunion event. This year, we are inviting over 60 people to the event and over 100 people next year. In a few years, the Museum will be overflowing with individuals who have directly participated in these conversations. As alumni of the High Desert Project, you are positioned to serve as ambassadors for this vision. By sharing your experiences and perspectives with those around you, you can ignite curiosity and foster dialogue that extends beyond your cohort. 

– The High Desert Project Team

Alumni Voices

In each edition of the High Desert Project Newsletter, we present thought-provoking prompts designed to ignite conversations among our valued alumni. Share your perspectives by responding to these prompts through the link below and your contribution could be highlighted in the upcoming issue!

Prompt: In our previous newsletter, we asked what your vision is for the High Desert region in 75 years. Focusing a little more now, what is your vision for the High Desert Project in 75 years?

Share your thoughts here


Current Series Update

Discarded: An Exploration of What We Make, What We Toss, and What it Means for Our Community

This month, we concluded our Discarded series that explored waste, systems, and perceptions in our region. Read below to learn more about the experiences of individuals who were part of this series.

“I was not sure what to expect from the session entitled DISCARDED: What we keep, what we discard and the impact on the community, but I must say it has been an enjoyable and enlightening experience.  When I arrive home from a session, I cannot stop talking about what I learned.  I want to share my experience with all my friends, and I do!  Kudos to the HDM for organizing and including the community in such diverse and important ideas. I have lived in Bend for fifty-four years and I am still learning about our community.” – Judy

“The Discarded series is engaging, thought provoking – and a lot of fun! I find myself more excited for each session as my knowledge of high desert waste develops alongside my relationships with the other participants. It has been a joy to spend my time with a new group of people who share my love for our planet. After viewing modern waste in the Knott Landfill, rusty can piles in the Deschutes Forest, and articles from the past preserved in the museum, I can’t help but wonder what stories our garbage will tell about us in the future.” – Savanna

“This project has been a blast to participate in. I did not know what to expect going into this, but I found it to be extremely engaging. I have enjoyed the open community discussions and individual interpretations of the issues our society has surrounding what is garbage and how we deal with our waste. It has been both an overwhelming and inspiring experience getting to see how trash impacts our daily lives and what this may look like for future generations.” – Max

“Something that surprised (and enraged) me were the policies keeping people from both being required to take their recyclable materials from the transfer station to the other side of the property, and others from being able to scavenge through to either take them or recycle them if appropriate, and the fact that there is no sorting for another year or more. That seems silly and fixable. A big takeaway is the amount of education the community needs around recycling and waste.” – Mandee


Upcoming Series

Reflections: An Exploration of Water in the High Desert

This fall, we’re circling back to the foundational theme of the High Desert Project: water. Drawing from insightful feedback gathered from earlier cohorts, we’re reimagining this series with innovative events that intricately weave together art and science, cumulating in an interactive installation piece with Harmonic Lab. 

High Desert Project Annual Alumni Reunion

Tuesday, June 25th 2024 at 6:00 pm

High Desert Museum – Bend, Oregon

Join us next month for the second annual High Desert Project Alumni Reunion featuring Manu Meel from Bridge USA and The Hopeful Majority. This dinner is your chance to reconnect with your series cohort and meet other alumni within the project. If you plan on joining us and haven’t RSVP’d already, please do so via the link below!