I am one of 160 families who garden at the Luscher Farms community gardens. I am dismayed at the thought of how the noise, looks and lights of a proposed soccer field will affect the gardening experience at Luscher Farms.

The Luscher Farm acreage offers an incredible experience of scents, sights and sounds for we gardeners and anyone else who works in and walks around the area.

There is such serenity and comfort in being able to smell the scent-laden breeze of earth, flowers and vegetables, to let your eyes wander the gentle slopes of the surrounding hills and to hear the crickets' singing vibrating in the air, the very expression of the earth itself. Not only are flowers and vegetables cultivated in this patch of earth, but so is the music of the heart and soul nourished in the air around us.

As there is a physical biosphere surrounding the earth, there is surely a biosphere of the spirit that emanates from it, creating such peace and tranquility over the land. Luscher Farm is one of the few places left in Lake Oswego's densely packed urban environment that can offer this very special, essential experience. The whole, natural environment will be profoundly disturbed by the addition of a soccer field. It isn't just a matter of whether there is enough physical room for a soccer field and gardens. Of course there is. But the point is this: can these two activities co-exist compatibly? No, not when you take into account the visual and auditory impact the soccer field will have on this beautiful, natural environment.

It's not as if the Luscher Farm grounds are not currently being vigorously used by between 2,000 and 3,000 people in its natural state on an annual basis - regular gardeners, visitors, Oregon tilth workers and visitors, families who are participating in the CSA farm service, farm workers, doggie park users, people taking classes at Luscher Farm, visitors to the clematis collection and pathway users. That is a very respectable usage profile.

Please help the city of Lake Oswego be an example to other cities when they, too, have to evaluate the place of nature and spirit within their city planning.

Please let us keep the land as it is and postpone the building of the soccer park until a suitable urban site can be found for it or continue negotiating with the high schools and the junior high schools. Ready- made flat lands, parking and lights! That way, the spirit of the agreement for keeping Luscher Farm in its natural state will be intact.

If you, too, have a stake in this, please e-mail our city council members at

Leanne Hoole is a resident of Lake Oswego.

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