Wallowa County, Northeast Oregon
What Kind of Lifestyle Can We Expect Living in Such a Remote Place?
When you are 65 miles from a McDonald’s or a Wal-Mart, and two and a half hours from a mall, you will find a whole new definition of the phrase for quality of life – It’s a “way of living”. Here, the focus is definitely not on consumption. It’s on family and community. It’s on entrepreneurship. And perhaps above all, it’s on outdoor beauty and recreation. Simply put, Wallowa County is a place of clean air, clean water, and a sky full of stars that will take your breath away”.
In our county you’ll find an endless opportunity to contribute and be a vital part of the community. When there is a need, your neighbors never fail to rise to the occasion. When the county’s economy was staggered by the loss of a vibrant timber industry; citizens worked together to form nonprofit's and organizations to accept the challenges of sustainable land management, ecosystem health, family-wage jobs, and K-12 enriched education opportunities – preserving Wallowa County's rural way of life. When a business facilitator was needed for entrepreneurial development; the community gathered again and raised money to provide free business coaching to local residents starting in business.
The community relies on every one of its members to contribute, which is why you’ll frequently find kids of all ages working alongside their parents to make things happen. When someone is sick or there’s a death in a family, the community pulls through again with fundraisers, potlucks, or whatever it takes to help out.
Families of Wallowa County built the Ferguson Ridge Ski Area, 12 miles east of Joseph, in the 1960’s. Each winter, residents gather to prepare the small hill for the new season. When the Enterprise City Park was in dire need of new equipment; family and friends turned out en masse with generous donations, and gave up their Mother’s Day Weekend to install the new, state-of-the-art equipment. Family life, you see, is at the heart of our small, rural neighborhoods.
For kids, the small, friendly area provides an oasis of freedom to get around town on their own. In fact, most new kids moving in from larger areas like Bend and Portland cite “being able to meet my friends and go downtown by myself” is at the top of their list of what they like best. Kids here can bike, walk, shop, go to the movies, ice skate, golf, take the shuttle to the lake, take a ski bus to Ferguson Ridge Ski Area, walk to a river or creek to fish, meet friends at the library, and any number of other activities, and you can know they are safe and the community is looking out for them. It’s a feeling rarely enjoyed by today’s youngsters, but one that Wallowa County children – and their parents -- gleefully take for granted.
You can count on the friendly people of Wallowa County. It’s more than a pretty place; it’s a way of Living!