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This parks bond renewal represents a generational opportunity to continue investing

When I think about what I love most about living in Lake Oswego, without a doubt, it's the natural beauty of our parks and open spaces. I feel so lucky to be able to walk in one of our many parks every single day. And without a doubt, Luscher Farm is the jewel of our park system.

Between 1990 and 2002, the city purchased eight properties comprising 152 acres of farm land on the southern edge of town. This land is now referred to as the Luscher Area. Each parcel was paid for with bond money.

In 2013 City Council approved the Luscher Area Master Plan. Citizens submitted over 3,400 comments during the planning process resulting in a master plan that represents the dreams and aspirations of the community.

Since 2013, Luscher has grown in popularity and includes community supported agriculture (CSA), community gardens, the Rogerson Clematis Garden around the farm house, kids camps, high school farm internship program, walking trails, Hazelia sports field, dog parks and events such as Howl at the Moon, Cyclocross and the Friends of Luscher Farm's annual dinner — Twilight on The Farm. Additionally, natural areas are being restored, Hazelia field has been re-turfed and agriculture programs have expanded.

I am president of Friends of Luscher Farm (FOLF), which has big dreams for the area. One of the biggest is to create an urban agriculture and natural resources education facility. Bond funds could be used to partially fund such a center.

Since parking is currently over capacity during peak times in the summer, additional parking and a new road will be required along with the new center. It is important to use bond money to build a new road, parking and ed center.

FOLF is committed to raising matching funds through grants and private donations to complete financing for these projects.

FOLF also supports a new turf field for active recreation at Luscher. This would allow our local teams to host regional events that would attract visitors from out of town. Luscher has something for everyone.

This parks bond renewal represents a generational opportunity to continue investing in the natural assets and recreational opportunities that Lake Oswegans value. There are many highly desired and anticipated projects that will further support and enhance our community's healthy, active and social lifestyle.

Please vote by the May 21st election date and support the continued investment in your parks network with a YES vote on Lake Oswego's Parks Bond Measure 3-548.

Heidi Schrimsher is the president of Friends of Luscher Farm.


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