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About Helvetia

Helvetia is a small unincorporated community in Washington County, Oregon, and is located north of Hillsboro along U.S. Route 26 northwest of Portland.  It was named by Swiss immigrants to Oregon in the 19th century.  "Helvetia" means "Switzerland" in Latin.

The Helvetia area is home to such notable features as the Helvetia church and cemetery, the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals, Helvetia Vineyards and Winery, and the Helvetia Tavern.  Many people know of the Helvetia area because of the television series featuring the Roloffs and their farm.  Helvetia also hosts many annual events, such as the Helvetia Half Marathon, the lavender festival, and the Swiss Festival

A wide variety of agricutural operations operate in the area, including both small and large produce and grain farms, orchards, dairy farms, alpaca farms, and equine-related operations such as riding arenas and stables.  A notable type of farm is the subscription farm (also known as a CSA, which stands for Community-Supported Agriculture).  Below is a brief video featuring one of the several CSAs in the Helvetia area, La Finquita del Buho:


(Video courtesy of OLCV)

Many other businesses make their home in Helvetia and surrounding areas, serving the agricultural community and providing services and amenities for nearby urban residents.

The greater Helvetia area is currently threatened by urbanization.  Much of the area has been identified as possible urban reserves by the Metro and tri-county Urban and Rural Reserves process.  We need your help to persuade these decision-makers to apply the RURAL RESERVES designation to Helvetia and the other study areas north of Highway 26.

Much more information about Helvetia may be found in the Save Helvetia testimony presented at the August 20th public hearing.


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