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Glenmorries canopy of green

by: Vern Uyetake, This Heritage Tree was designated by the city in 2001. Located on the corner of Stonebridge Way, this giant sequia stands tribute to the neighborhood’s mature landscaping.

Glenmorrie: Seclusion. Country roads that wind amid bungalows with expansive mature landscaping. Garden estates with freeways, rivers and schools nearby. Few streetlights. Rustic meets sophistication.

Sloping between Hallinan Elementary School and down to the Willamette River sit elegant homes upon large lots surrounded by greenery.

'We live in a changing community of ranch houses in a forested setting. (There are) views of the river and Mt. Hood and St. Helens in some areas, great well water through the Glenmorrie Water Co-Op and privacy with well placed, mature trees,' said Liz Hartman, chair of the Glenmorrie Neighborhood Association.

What began as the countryside soon developed into a residential neighborhood.

P.F. Morey, founder of Portland General Electric, purchased the land between Marylhurst and Oswego Lake - then Sucker Lake - in the late 1880s. He soon developed the land - importing plants, trees and vines from North America and Europe and provided stone work among winding roads.

After Morey's death in 1904, six years went by before W.H. Chapin and F.T. Griffith, Morey's heirs and business partners, took the groomed grounds and formed a neighborhood through the Glenmorrie Corporation. A bus was used to ferry prospective buyers from the downtown Oswego railroad station to the site, according to the neighborhood's Web site.

And in 1977, the neighborhood was incorporated into Lake Oswego and currently has a northern boundary of Glenmorrie Terrance and Morning Sky and southern boundary at Glenmorrie Drive. The neighborhood reaches east to Old River Road and west to Chapin. While the lots are 15,000 square feet, neighbors still feel connected through yearly events and gatherings.

Neighbors often bump into one another at local school events or at the grocery store, says Hartman. Summertime is filled with picnics. Social occasions are usually planned by street, offering a variety of holiday interaction. And there's always tree maintenance to bring neighbors together.

In order to sustain healthy trees in the area, some neighbors remove ivy from trees that are weakened through the vine's growth.

'We have had at least one - and sometimes more - ivy pulls a year at Glenmorrie Drive at George Rogers Park,' said Hartman, 'and the greenspace and cooperating with Hallinan Elementary clean-ups.'

Green acres

As written in the neighborhood's plan, landscaping is encouraged for all remodeling plans and mature trees are valued. The history of the Glenmorrie neighborhhood includes resident's plantings of non-native trees such as Sequoias and Redwoods.

'We have giant redwoods, sequoias and a variety of trees planted by Morey,' said Hartman, who has lived in the neighborhood 10 years. '(I enjoy the) greenspace and Glenmorrie Park, off the Marylhurst development; watching eagles, hearing owls and coyotes, seeing deer and rabbits and hearing frogs.'

In addition to the wildlife in the area, the neighborhood also pays attention to changing traffic patterns and say they recognize the need for safe pedestrian and bicycle passage, according to their Web site.

'More people are walking and biking since working on traffic issues. Turn lanes on Hwy. 43 improved the flow and lessened the stress of turning into the housing areas,' said Hartman. 'Stop signs, crosswalks at Cherry and Chapin and Chapin and Glenmorrie drive slowed traffic and encourages more students to walk to school and more of the long-time residents to walk safely.'

An association of neighbors

The Glenmorrie Neighborhood Association was formed in 1998 by members of the Glenmorrie Water Cooperative. The board meets monthly, except during the summer months, according to Hartman. Each November the association comes together for a large discussion. At these meetings typical conversations include transportation between Portland, Lake Oswego and Oregon City and how it will affect the neighborhood, according to Hartman.

'The neighbors in this area are a wonderful compilation of concerned and active citizens who care about the neighborhood they live in. I would estimate that fewer than a third of the homeowners have lived here less than 10 years. Many residents have been here more than 40 years,' said Hartman. 'They give a wonderful prospective on proposed changes and the impact on the overall health of the area.'

For more information about the Glenmorrie Neighborhood Association and neighborhood visit the Web site at www.neighborhoodlink.com/lakeoswego/glenmorrie.