Many may recognize Tammy Stevens’s name and there’s good reason for that — she’s chair of the Hamlet of Beavercreek Board of Directors, leads monthly meetings held at the Grange, and is a board member for Beaver Creek Cooperative Telephone. But Tammy’s history in Beavercreek goes back further.
The Stevens family has lived in Beavercreek for 55 years. John Stevens was a PGE Lineman and he found their 260 acre ranch during the Columbus Day Storm of 1962 while he was repairing lines. John, wife Lois, and their eight children moved to the homestead so they could “grow timber, homestead and raise children, cattle, pigs, chickens, gardens, orchards and memories,” says Tammy.
Even after all this time, Tammy has found zero reasons to leave Beavercreek. “There’s no better place on the face of the earth. The people, climate, access to nature and lifestyle fits me like a glove,” she said. Tammy was employed in the insurance industry for over 26 years, but happily commuted to and from our amazing Beavercreek.
Her family has run the Lazy XS Ranch since 1963 including timber, Christmas trees, hay, beef, pork, chicken, eggs, rentals, firewood, and heavy equipment operations. Tammy and her partner, David “DJ” Lawrence have carried on the ranching and farming history with the additions of Christmas trees and firewood. DJ owns a hardwood decking and outdoor living areas company in West Linn. Recently, they created a subdivision and community of country property to enjoy where they built their custom forever home. The ranch has lots of trails and Tammy says, “You want to take a hike, walk your dog, ride your horse? We’re happy to share our community.”
Tammy began her local involvement in 1998, starting with the board of the Beavercreek Committee for Community Planning (BCCP) and Community Planning Organization (CPO), and in 2006 joined the new Hamlet Board of Directors. She also participated on the Clackamas County Committee for Citizen Involvement, as well as the Clackamas County Planning Commission from 2000 through 2013. Tammy is active because it means the Hamlet has more representation and support from the County, and can create more community awareness and involvement in issues that matter to rural residents. She engages with other agencies within the County to stay abreast of issues and makes connections to make sure the Hamlet’s voice is heard. Another benefit? Good coffee at the Hamlet meetings.
In her 20 years serving the Hamlet, Tammy has seen much more support and recognition from the County. Community events like Stars in the Park Concerts, the Flea Market & Craft Sale or the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting bring residents together to make people feel more connected. More people realize that the Hamlet board of directors is the place to call or go to with concerns, questions, or ideas. It’s an experienced, active, and supportive board that exists to help citizens and the community “solve problems, get answers, and make things happen,” she says.
But it hasn’t always been sunshine and roses. The Hamlet has faced a number of threats over the years, from Oregon City eyeing Beavercreek for its future industrial area in 1998 to Metro’s ever expanding urban growth boundary. What makes all the difference is citizen involvement. Tammy says, “Community events could die out if people don’t participate, either by volunteering or attending. We are close to a city [Oregon City] developing toward Beavercreek without appropriate services such as transportation, water, sewer, and parks. Beavercreek needs citizen participation and involvement to assure our community remains ‘our community’ and that livability is our number one priority.”
Her plea to residents: “Make the time to get informed, involved and grow a community proud and safe to live in.”
Running a working ranch and being so active in the community, it’s a wonder Tammy has time for her favorite activities including gardening, horses, cooking, pets, and reading. She makes it all work by keeping these mottos close:
- In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.
- Whatever comes, let it come. Whatever stays, let it stay. Whatever goes, let it go.
- Don’t stumble over something behind you.
- Forgive people in your life, even those who are not sorry for their actions. Holding on to anger only hurts you not them.
Tammy, thanks for sharing that wisdom, and for being a role model for community engagement. We’ll see you out at Lazy XS Ranch sometime. 🙂