Plans for possible Luscher changes should be delayed
I did not know about the plan to replace Luscher Farm with sports fields until recently. I believe this plan needs to be postponed, reconsidered in more depth and changed substantially. Here are a few reasons why:
* This historical farm given to our city by the Luscher family deserves to be saved intact.
* We need more food grown locally, not less. (Many reasons -climate change effect on agriculture; spending oil and money to transport food from long distances is not efficient or sustainable; local food growing supports our local economy and keeps small farmers in business; and more.)
* The offer to move the farming fields to an alternate site is not realistically viable due to slope, wetness and other problems, according to farmers' research.
* Other options for sports fields have not been seriously explored, such as using sports fields from schools that are going to be closed soon, or other possible solutions. I have nothing against sports, but perhaps we can find some other creative options that cost less and preserve the farm.
* Luscher Farm, the community gardens, the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture-yearly produce by subscription) and other areas there have wonderful opportunities for education and teaching children (and adults) that have only begun to be created.
* Financially it doesn't make sense. (Almost $4 million?) As a taxpayer, I don't want to spend more money during this recession on more sports fields. If I was taxed more for schools, I would want it to pay for teachers, programs, and essentials that are currently being cut during this time when schools are closing from lack of funds.
* Why do vocal sports parents feel we need more fields? We are getting fewer students each year in Lake Oswego, not more. I believe the survey that this supposition is based on is 10 years old and not accurate.
* Why has this primarily gone through the Parks and Recreation Board and has not included input from other boards such as Natural Resources Board, Sustainability Board, Historical Board? The long-range future use of this land affects many aspects of our city and should have intelligent discussion and research done by many groups.
* Why is public input being discouraged on this topic? I know parents wanting sports for their children are loud and insistent, but that does not mean that viewpoints from all aspects of the public should not be heard and seriously considered.
I urge people to ask the city council to postpone this plan, open it up for wider discussion, and revise it. It is not a good plan for Lake Oswego.
Joy Prideaux is a resident of Lake Oswego.