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Wilsonville is a city primarily in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. A portion of the northern section of the city is in Washington County. It was founded as Boones Landing because of the Boones Ferry which crossed the Willamette River at the location. The community became Wilsonville in 1880 and city was incorporated in 1969.
Wilsonville is located on the southern edge of the Portland metropolitan area sitting at an elevation of 154 feet (47 m) above sea level. Primarily in the southwestern part of Clackamas County, the northern section is in Washington County. It is located on the north side of the Willamette River around where Alphonse Boone established the Boones Ferry. Neighboring cities are Tualatin on the north, Sherwood to the northwest, and Canby and Aurora to the southeast. Newberg in Yamhill County is approximately 14 miles west along Wilsonville Road. The Willamette separates the majority of the city from Charbonneau, a planned community and neighborhood within the city limits, on the south.
Wilsonville divides the city into 16 neighborhood groups, designated A through P. Within each of these planning areas are individual neighborhoods, and occasionally a neighborhood spans several of these groups. For instance the Villebois development covers areas D through G. Individual neighborhoods include Charbonneau, Wilsonville Meadows, Canyon Creek North, Town Center, RiverGreen, Frog Pond, and Old Town to name a few. Wilsonville’s Old Town neighborhood, the oldest of the neighborhoods, is located south of Wilsonville Road along Boones Ferry Road adjacent to the landing of the old Boones Ferry and contains the original portions of the town.
Wilsonville has often had more jobs in the city than residents due to its location along Interstate 5. This location has led to the city becoming headquarters for several major local and national companies, as well as home to facilities of several national companies. Companies with their headquarters in the city include design software maker Mentor Graphics; imaging systems manufacturer FLIR Systems; and shoe retailer Solestruck. G.I. Joe’s, a sporting goods and automotive parts retailer was based in Wilsonville until bankruptcy in 2009, as was drugstore chain Thrifty PayLess until it was bought by Rite Aid in 1996, and video rental retailer Movie Gallery and its subsidiary Hollywood Video were as well until bankruptcy in 2010.
Copier and printer manufacturer Xerox operates a large facility in Wilsonville, and is the city’s largest employer. The company acquired the color printing and imaging division of Tektronix corporation in 2000. Xerox, Mentor Graphics, and FLIR are all adjacent to each other north of Boeckman Road along Parkway Avenue. Projector maker InFocus was headquartered in the city until December 2009 and was located next to FLIR. InFocus and Mentor were both founded by former employees of Tektronix.
Wilsonville is home to many other business located in industrial parks straddling Interstate 5 that are filled with manufacturing and distribution facilities. Xerox and Mentor Graphics are the city’s two largest employers as of 2006, the only two to employ more than 1000 people. Other large employers in the city are Tyco Electronics (Precision Interconnect), Sysco, Rockwell Collins, and Rite Aid. Additionally, Coca-Cola operates a bottling plant in the city. Nike had one of its U.S. distribution centers for footwear in Wilsonville until closing it in 2009.
Retail in Wilsonville is concentrated mainly along Wilsonville Road near the Interstate 5 interchange. This includes the Town Center Shopping Center and related developments along Town Center Loop, which includes Fry’s Electronics, one of the largest employers in the city. Fred Meyer opened a 145,000-square-foot (13,500 m2) store along with space for 20 other businesses at their Old Town Square where Boones Ferry and Wilsonville roads meet. At the north end of town is the 42-acre (17 ha) Argyle Square shopping center that opened in 2003, which includes a Target store, Office Depot, and Costco as anchor tenants. South of the Willamette River, Charbonneau has a small commercial center with about 10 shops.
Media in Wilsonville consists of the 28 radio stations and 7 television stations broadcast in the Portland media market, regional newspapers such as The Oregonian, and the local paper, the Wilsonville Spokesman. The Spokesman is published once a week on Wednesdays and has a circulation of 3,176. There is a single movie theater operated by Regal Cinemas, which contains nine screens. The theater opened in 1996 and featured the first stadium style seating in the Northwest.
Wilsonville Public Library, founded in 1982, is a member of Library Information Network of Clackamas County and had an annual circulation of 493,000 in 2006 to 2007. The library is located adjacent to Wilsonville Memorial Park, the largest and oldest of the city’s 12 parks. Memorial Park includes a water feature, athletic fields, and the Stein-Boozier Barn used as meeting space, among other amenities. Town Center Park also has a water feature along with a visitor’s center operated by the Clackamas County and the Oregon Korean War Memorial. Other parks in the city are River Fox Park, Park at Merryfield, Montebello Park, Hathaway Park, Courtside Park, Tranquil Park, Willamette River Water Treatment Plant Park, Willow Creek/Landover Park, Canyon Creek Park, and Boones Ferry Park located on the Willamette River at the landing for the defunct Boones Ferry.
The Wilsonville Community Center holds classes and community programs as well as community meeting space. Wilsonville holds an annual arts fair each May called the Wilsonville Festival of Arts. Another annual event, Wilsonville Celebration Days, started in 2000 and replaced Boones Ferry Days. A farmers’ market started in 2009 at the Villebois development, held on Sundays from May into October. Charbonneau Golf Club is the only golf course in the city, with Langdon Farms and Sandelie just to the south and east respectively. Wilsonville also is along the Willamette Greenway series of open spaces and trails. Wilsonville is the setting for the 2008 film Wendy and Lucy.
Most of Wilsonville is in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District (WLWSD), however those portions south of the Willamette River are within the Canby School District. Areas just to the west lie within the Sherwood School District. Lowrie Primary, Boeckman Creek and Boones Ferry primary schools serve K-5 students from Wilsonville in WLWSD. Students in grades 6–8 attend Inza R. Wood Middle School, and high school students attend Wilsonville High School or the Arts and Technology High School (ArtTech). Neither the Canby or Sherwood districts operate schools within Wilsonville.
The city is also in the Clackamas Community College District and has a satellite campus on Town Center Loop. Opened in 1992, the campus was originally known as the Oregon Advanced Technology Center. The private, for profit Pioneer Pacific College operates a campus, their main campus, in the city along Interstate 5 near the Boeckman Road overpass.
Boeckman Creek Primary School opened in 1990 and has 649 students, with a mascot of the Bobcats. Boones Ferry replaced the old Wilsonville Primary School in 2001; its 809 students make it the largest primary school in the district, and are known as the Dragonflies. Wood Middle School opened in 1980 and has 699 students, known as the Wolverines. Wilsonville High has been the home of the Wildcats since the 1,002-student school opened in 1995. The ArtTech charter high school has 85 students, and opened in 2005.
Interstate 5 runs north-south through the middle of the city and crosses the Willamette River on the Boone Bridge. Wilsonville has two interchanges with the freeway north of the river, at Wilsonville Road on the south and where Boones Ferry Road meets Elligsen Road on the north end of town. To the south of the river, the Charbonneau interchange crosses I-5 at the southern limit of the city. Boeckman Road is the only other street that crosses I-5 and links the western and eastern parts of Wilsonville. Wilsonville Road, 95th Avenue, Boones Ferry Road (northern portion is Oregon Route 141), Boeckman Road, Town Center Loop, French Prairie Drive, Elligsen Road, Parkway Avenue, and Stafford Road are the main roads in the city.
Transit service used to provide by TriMet, but the city decided to “opt-out” and now operates South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART). SMART has connections with Salem’s transit service, Canby’s transit service, and TriMet. The Westside Express Service (WES), a commuter rail line to Beaverton, began operations in February 2009. Wilsonville Station is the southern terminus of the nearly 15-mile (24 km) line operated by TriMet, and the station is the hub for SMART services.
Freight rail service is provided by the Portland and Western Railroad over the same tracks as WES, with connections to BNSF Railway. These tracks run north-south and cross the Willamette over the Portland and Western Railroad Bridge. The city does not have an airport, with Aurora State Airport to the south as the closest public field and Portland International Airport 17 miles north as the closest commercial airport. Although located along the river, there are not any port facilities, though there is a marina located on the eastbank (south side) of the Willamette.
Wilsonville has one sister city relationship. The city established a relationship with Kitakata, in the Fukushima province in Japan in 1988. Kitakata in the northern part of Honshū has an estimated population of around 55,000. Then Wilsonville Mayor Jerry Krummel visited Japan in 1994 to attend a ceremony honoring Kitakata’s 40th birthday. The mayor of Kitakata visited Wilsonville in 2008 to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the relationship.
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