Preservation property: North Albany couple buy land for wildlife refuge | Local
Councilors reviewed the proposal at their July 14 meeting. Councilor Bessie Johnson said she felt the price offered was not enough and voted no, but other councilors said they liked the idea of saving the plot for wildlife and agreed to the sale .
“I am very much in favor of maintaining this wild little corner for wildlife and a place where perhaps the locals can enjoy a space free from heavy traffic,” said Councilor Dick Olsen.
Sue Cutsforth said she and her husband, who moved a few miles from the Ridders’ address, rented their house for a while before selling it to the Thompson. She is delighted with their decision.
“This is what we wanted from the start,” said Cutsforth, who said she and Lee had tried to buy the property themselves but “the timing was not on our side”.
Living on Ridders, the couple didn’t like the sight of the bare pit outside their backyard. They had moved to the property in 1995 and the 1996 floods filled the Willamette’s water pit. The Cutsforth had to park their car on the nearby golf course to keep it safe, Sue recalls.
The flood waters brought in frogs, fish and turtles. The poplars were seeded, but much of the other vegetation was from the Cutsforth.
“Lee’s mother had a greenhouse, and she would give us the little baby trees and we would plant them around,” Sue said. “We carried buckets and watered these trees by hand and watched them grow.”