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Natural parks are a defining point of pride for Lake Oswego, enriching the environment and our quality of life

As members of the Lake Oswego City Council we urge you to vote YES on Measure 3-575, the Natural Area Preservation Charter Referendum. We were each elected individually and represent the myriad of different perspectives illustrative of our city and do not always see eye to eye. But we can all gratefully agree that a primary value we hold true is a sincere care for our natural areas and parks, manifested through many decades of community investment and stewardship.

Natural parks are a defining point of pride for Lake Oswego, enriching the environment and our quality of life, and we know future generations want to ensure these community assets are not only preserved but cared for to engender an even healthier resource for the Oswegans yet to come.

For the first time in our city, there are two measures competing with one another on the ballot. The measure with the most "yes" votes prevails.

Measure 3-575 came about in response to concerns regarding the competing measure (#3-568) from residents deeply involved in parks stewardship including the members of our Parks & Natural Resource Advisory Board and the leaders of neighborhood park volunteer groups such as Friends of Hallinan Woods, Springbrook Park, Iron Mountain Park, Luscher Farm, Southwood Park and Woodmont Park.

The concerns centered around the fact that 3-568 did not contemplate the need to prepare for climate change and take preventative measures in response to wildfire dangers, it did not protect all of our natural areas, and it created barriers to access to nature for members of our community with mobility challenges among other concerns.

In response to this input we worked with residents and parks experts to craft Measure 3-575 and then conducted a public engagement process soliciting broader community feedback. Here are the results:

-Measure 3-575 protects the entirety of our natural parks plus the natural areas of active use parks against incongruent uses such as public roads and communications towers.

-It allows for the community to decide if amenities such as hard surface trails and parking lots are appropriate for a given natural park.

-It allows for equitable access to nature for people of different ages and abilities. Access to nature is one of the primary reasons we preserve natural areas within our urban environment.

-It allows us to maintain natural areas in response to wildfire risks exacerbated by climate change.

Most importantly, Measure 3-575 builds on the collaborative, active way our community has managed and invested in natural areas for decades. If we've learned anything this past year it is that conditions can change rapidly, requiring dynamic, science-based management of our natural areas now and in the future.

We recognize that there are well-intentioned community members advocating for both measures and we applaud all their efforts. Undoubtedly we can all be grateful for the fact that in Lake Oswego we debate how to best care for natural areas, not whether or not we should. That said we're honored to have been entrusted by your votes to guide our community's future. Please join us along with trusted parks advocates and advisors in casting a YES vote for Measure 3-575 and give a NO vote to Measure 3-568.

Learn more at www.lakeoswego.city

The Lake Oswego City Council is made up of Mayor Joe Buck, Council President Daniel Nguyen, Councilor Jackie Manz, Councilor Massene Mboup, Councilor Aaron Rapf, Councilor Rachel Verdick and Councilor John Wendland.


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