As we’ve progressed through the Stafford Hamlet formation, the values and vision statement and the reserves process numerous ideas have circulated through the hamlet’s discussions. 

In conjunction with potential conceptual development plans for the area, a concept that has surfaced a number of times is to have an equestrian focus in the Stafford area. One group of landowners has considered a quaint village concept incorporating an equestrian theme including barns, arenas and trails along with homes, cottages and townhouses.

Another vision was for the careful incorporation of a series of trails along the area’s creeks and rivers. Perhaps if we start this type of dialogue now, we may eventually have riding trails winding around some future campus employer’s sites and some well-planned residential areas as well as the trail system.

We know Metro has its River to River trail plan and has some hopes and goals to have these trails wind carefully alongside the rivers and creeks of our hamlet. It isn’t too hard to imagine adding equestrian trails to that objective.

We do need to be sensitive to the interests of those who own these lands and how, with planning, these lands could be purchased as Stafford matures to accomplish this trail system. For now, let us imagine these trails are a possibility.Probably, it would take some time to accumulate the land along these creeks and rivers; or, with a planned development trail concept, it could occur sooner. This is a pleasant consideration.

Without actually drawing a map at this point in time, we can visualize how this might look. Think about what we actually have here in Stafford now. For example, we have the old Rosemont stables and arena, now owned by Lake Oswego. I also understand Lake Oswego has the ability, with parks fees, to fund equestrian trails (that was an interesting tidbit to hear about). With a potential foundation of the old Rosemont stables, this equestrian trail could start there and potentially move along Pecan and Wilson creeks, which Metro now owns significant portions of.

Can you imagine starting at the top of Wilson Creek, traveling down to the Tualatin River, winding back up through the Woodbine and Wisteria areas, back through the Sweetbriar area down to the Tualatin River again, traveling west along the Tualatin River to Pecan Creek, winding back up that creek and finally completing your horseback adventure back at the Rosemont arena?

Maybe this is a concept the hamlet should consider. The trail system could connect with employment areas and possibly be designed for use by both hikers and horses. Maybe the system could connect all the way south to Wilsonville.

Can you imagine?

There are successful equestrian communities in California. I’ve included a description of one:

“This horse community has common arenas reserved exclusively for equine and pedestrian activities/trails. The community charges HOA dues to maintain the several arenas (including a dressage and cutting horse arena), round pens, and miles of trails that wind to the residential doorsteps.

“They have maintained the delicate balance of business activity, residential lifestyle with the equestrian focus — a planned community with unassuming tree-lined residential streets and high-quality housing ranging from affordable to affluent (including estates, single-family homes and rental units).”

Mike Stewart is a resident of Stafford.

Contract Publishing

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