Path connects LO, WL and Luscher Farm
Jay Minor faced so many obstacles on the Rosemont Trail over the past 12 years that he must have felt like a long-distance hurdler.
But Minor and his dedicated allies are now celebrating because the trail is complete, and the first day of official walking came on Wednesday.
Minor calls it a heckuva asset for this area. It also took a heckuva long time.
I thought it would be easy, Minor said with a laugh.
Maybe building the pathway wasnt easy, but it is certainly satisfying.
It was a long haul, but its done, said Minor, former president of the Three Rivers Land Conservancy, an organization now merged with Columbia Land Trust. There were so many hurdles along the way. At so many points the project could have been stopped. But it wasnt. People came together and saw the common good.
It was a crazy rollercoaster, said Virginia Bowers, Columbia Land Trusts liaison for the project. We are so excited to finally get it finished. At one point we had no money and were about to give up. But Oregon State Parks came through with a grant at just the right time.
The pathway seemed simple at the start. Minor, who lives just off Rosemont Road, thought it would be great if he didnt have to drive his teenage daughter Kathleen all the way across town to do her running.
I thought the pathway would be a neat idea, Minor said. Kathleen is now 27 years old and is completing medical school, which shows how long the pathway actually took.
However, all of the effort was worth it. The pathway runs next to Luscher Farm and goes from Stafford Road to Cooks Butte, crossing a rural area of Clackamas County that offers a bucolic, agricultural setting only minutes from urban centers. It also connects to existing trails going to West Linn. It provides a new option for pedestrians, joggers, dog walkers and bird watchers.
Bike riders were not originally part of the intended group, but because they are already using the 8-foot-wide pathway anyway, Minor said, Clackamas County may relax the rules and make it legal to ride bikes on the trail.
It took a huge amount of work and tenacity for the project. Minor said it cost about $570,000, and volunteers easily gave around $100,000 worth of their time. Four of the property owners along the trail allowed easements for the pathway.
There is a roll call of contributors that Minor wants to pay tribute to. They include the Three Rivers Land Conservancy, Columbia Land Trust led by executive director Glenn Lamb, the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department under former director Kim Gilmer, the city of West Linn, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and private individuals who made donations.
The Rosemont Trail will have a formal grand opening event this summer. However, people are not waiting until then to celebrate.
Its great to see people already out there using the pathway, Minor said. Im really proud of it. We will have an ongoing cleanup program. I dont think well have any trouble taking care of it.
Now people can walk between Lake Oswego and West Linn and not be run over, Bowers said. It will feel really different. It will feel quite comfortable walking on the trail seeing the farms, trees and winery.
There is still $65,000 needed to pay the final cost of the project. The public can make donations by going to the website columbialandtrust.org.