Lake Oswego's Parks & Recreation Department is getting closer to its goal of creating nearly two miles of new multi-use trails and a bike skills course at Luscher Farm.
According to Parks Director Ivan Anderholm, two public outreach opportunities in November provided his staff with valuable input on the project as they await a response from Clackamas County on a land-use application that will also help decide the future of the project.
"What we'll be doing in the early part of next year is holding a couple more public outreach events and further refining the project," Anderholm told The Review this week. "The first one was pretty lightly attended, but there were 40-50 people at the second one and we got some good input from that."
The next outreach opportunities will be scheduled soon, Anderholm said, once his staff is able to find dates and locations to host the two events.
Anderholm said he believes the proposed multi-use trails and Farr Bike Park — which he points out would be not just for bikes but for all types of uses, including walking and trail running — would add variety to the services and facilities that Parks & Rec currently offers.
Current concept designs for the new features incorporate some of the mowed trails that already wind their way through the 47-acre property bordered by Stafford Road to the west and Rosemont Road to the south. These soft-surface trails would be built using native soil and fit in the Luscher Farm Master Plan adopted by the City in 1997.
"Lake Oswego prides itself on being a place where you live where you play," Anderholm said. "Having soft-surface trails at Luscher Farm has been talked about since the early '90s, when the property was originally purchased.
"One thing we're doing from an operational standpoint," he added, "is that we want to do native-soil trails and instead of making them impervious to water, we actually manage the trailheads in times when it's really wet and politely ask people to stay on the paved trail."
The Farr Bike Park, which would be located at the northern edge of the Luscher Farm property off Bergis Road, was designed by Christopher Bernhardt at C2 Recreation Consulting in Portland. It would include three downhill skills courses that vary in difficulty, with jumps in a range of sizes, banked turns, logs, wall rides and other features for mountain and BMX bikers to tackle. At the bottom of the three courses would be a trail that leads back to the top, where a large dirt berm would allow users to drop back into each course.
Plans for the bike park also call for a bike parking pad (cars would use the nearby lot at Hazelia Field), signs, a welcome kiosk, a porta-potty pad and a shade structure. Total cost for all of the trails is estimated at $250,000.
But in the grand scheme of things, according to Anderholm, the bike park would be just a small part of the picture.
"The main emphasis I want to make," he said, "is that the majority of what we're talking about building and investing in out there are trails that will be appropriate for all users."