The parks, the people and the future

I am one of three sons of Marjorie Emery. It was Marjorie whose profound love of nature, and belief that humans need to love the natural world in order to actually be human, resulted in the creation of Cooks Butte Park in Lake Oswego. It was important to Marjorie that local residents have an opportunity to enter a remnant of The Wild and experience “life with fellow creatures”. 

Since 1993 there have been three attempts by the City of Lake Oswego to locate a communications tower on Cooks Butte. Marjorie herself openly opposed the first attempt in 1993. Her family honored her wishes by successfully opposing the second two attempts after her death. Such development of the park would seriously impact its biological diversity and human experience of wild Nature. Now local residents are mounting an initiative drive to protect all Lake Oswego parks from developments that serve other purposes than athletics, outdoor leisure and direct experience of the natural environment. 

Obviously parks and natural areas require certain physical “improvements” to foster access, appreciation and education. But there is a fundamental difference between these functions and construction primarily for commercial, technological or industrial purposes. I urge you to take the fate of your parks and natural areas into your own hands as citizens and as humans who live because the natural world thrives. I urge you to use these treasures to empower your children to be better stewards of life itself than we older people have been. I urge you to vote for this initiative and participate directly in decisions about the remnants of natural environments in your community. 

For the love of life itself. 

Leslie Emery 

Vashon, Washington