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Big push set for Stafford pathway finish

Columbia Land Trust plans celebration Oct. 11 at Oswego Hills Winery


by: VERN UYETAKE - Debbie Craig, left, walks along the new pathway with Janye Cronlund and her daughter, Rose O'Neill. Craig was on the board Three Rivers Land Conservancy of Lake Oswego. Cronlund was the executive director of Three Rivers when the path was first planned 12 years ago.The completion of the new Stafford Basin Trail between Luscher Farm and West Linn is so close that it is time to celebrate.

But it is also time to make a final push for a project that has been a remarkable example of public spirit at work.

Columbia Land Trust, which merged with Three Rivers Land Conservancy of Lake Oswego, will hold a party on Oct. 11 at Oswego Hills Winery from 5 to 7 p.m.

“It has been a challenge to raise the last amount. We’re in the age where government can’t step in and do things like it used to do,” said Glenn Lamb, executive director of Columbia Land Trust. “The pathway wouldn’t have happened without a grassroots citizens effort. This a classic example of individuals stepping forward and meeting a need and figuring out how to make it happen. We’ve gotten donations, sold bricks and received several multi-year pledges.”by: VERN UYETAKE - Jayne Cronlund and her daughter, Rose O'Neill, enjoy the potential of the new path connecting Lake Oswego and West Linn.

The effort has been a great success, raising $500,000. But $125,000 still needs to be raised to complete the project, and event organizers believe a celebration is the best way to get the word out.

The pathway has been a joint effort between Columbia Land Trust, the city of Lake Oswego, the city of West Linn and Clackamas County — plus people like contractor Jay Minor, who is praised by Lamb for devoting so much of his time and expertise over the past 10 years. Minor has lived in the Stafford area for 20 years, and he has long seen the need for a pathway that would be convenient for hikers and bikers and also help youngsters enjoy the greenspace around Luscher Farm.

“I had to drive my teenage daughter into Lake Oswego to jog around the lake,” Minor said.

When Minor starts something, he finishes it.

“I’m a contractor who likes to see things built,” he said. “I like to persevere until the end. The progress so far has been exciting, but there’s been a lot of frustration.”

Although it is not yet complete, the Stafford Basin Trail is being put to good use.

“A lot of people are already walking and running on it,” said Debbie Craig, who has long been involved with Three Rivers Land Conservancy. “The activity people most want is walking, and the Lake Oswego master plan stresses having pathways for walking.

“This area is an incredible asset. It will give kids much more opportunity to exercise. There are so many reasons to allow kids to have access to Luscher Farm.”

Lamb said, “For a two-mile area (just outside of) the city people can garden, have fun, walk their dog or chase birds.”

To complete the pathway, though, the public must step up.

Minor said, “We’ve reached out to Metro to close our funding gap. Lake Oswego has agreed to maintain the pathway. West Linn has contributed $150,000, Clackamas County has given $85,000, and Oregon Parks has given $135,000. But there is no extra money anywhere. The government entities have done what they can do and that’s about it.”

At next week’s event, people will be asked to not only donate but also to hold fundraising gatherings of their own.

“Any parties would be welcome right down to the end,” Lamb said. “We need people who care. This will be an opportunity to say, ‘I support citizens doing something. Not just government.’”

All work on the pathway has been completed except the paving, which will begin soon.

Those desiring to attend the event must preregister by calling 360-213-1201 or sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The cost is $10 per person, which covers the cost for wine. Food will be served free of charge. Oswego Hills Winery is located at 450 Rosemont Road in West Linn.

“When the pathway is complete, we’ll have another party,” Minor said.


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