The Luscher Area is 152 acres and comprised of eight properties purchased by the city of Lake Oswego between 1991 and 2005. The Luscher farm property was the first purchase and the largest at 41.71 acres. It was purchased from the estate of Rudolph Luscher in 1991 using 1990 Parks and Open Space Bond Funds.
The Luscher Historic Core of 22 acres includes several buildings and structures: a Queen Anne style farmhouse, barn, chicken coop, pump house, workshop, and garage/ bunkhouse. Most of these with the exception of the garage/ bunkhouse were built at the turn of the twentieth century.
Luscher Farm was originally part of the Jesse & Nancy Bullock Donation Land Claim of 1866. They were one of several pioneer family land claims that stretched between the Rosemont Road area & Marylhurst on the Willamette River. The farm evolved through several different families before Rudolph and Ester Luscher purchased the farm in 1944. From 1944 to 1969, “Rudie” and Ester Luscher ran a dairy on the farm. The farm gained recognition for their breeding of Holsteins with superior milk production.
Agricultural uses of some kind have been active on the farm for over 100 years. Luscher Farm is considered the most intact historic farm in Clackamas County.
Luscher Farm is also home to a variety of sustainable gardening and farming programs: Community Gardens, Children’s Garden, 47th Ave. Farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Friends of Rogerson Clematis Collection, and Friends of Luscher Farm.
The Luscher area has mostly open, rolling grassland/pasture landscape with patches of woodland and individual trees. Vegetation communities are characterized by non-native pasture grasses and forbs, with small areas of forest, woody shrubs and some wetlands.
The Luscher Area Master Plan calls for habitat improvements to the former pasture/farm lands at the southwest and eastern parts of the Luscher Farm complex. The improvements have three main components:
- Reduce the occurrence of non-native invasive weeds and increase native plants in the meadow areas.
- Restore riparian vegetation along all stream corridors, swales and wet areas and enhance habitat corridors to neighboring open spaces.
- Establish native oak and maple trees as individual specimens and in groups within and around the meadow areas to create a “savannah-like” vegetation structure. Trees should comprise approximately 30% of the areas planted with meadow grasses.
New interpretive features will educate people about the natural resources on the site. Research and monitoring will provide information critical to the ongoing maintenance and management of the site’s cultural and natural resources and also provide much needed scientific data for the community at large.