Eugene officials unveil first three Riverfront Park designs

Eugene officials released three design concepts for the Riverfront Park project on the old Eugene Water and Electric Board property, July 19, 2018. (SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene city officials have released three design concepts for the Riverfront Park project on the old Eugene Water and Electric Board property.

In a meeting Thursday night, they unveiled the design ideas to the general public and gave them a chance to chime in on what they thought so far.

"This is one of the most exciting meetings I've been to in my career," said Emily Proudfoot, Principal Landscape Architect with the City of Eugene.

The three designs revealed are called "Winding Paths," "Urban Amphitheater," and "River Terraces" - inspired by the input from more than 1,700 people.

"It's been exciting to then be able to take all these awesome expectations people have about this space, like nature-play and water-play and performance space, and biking, and walking, and viewing the river," said Proudfoot.

The design team is led by Walker Macy and the city of Eugene Parks and Open Space Division.

Originally, the Riverfront Park plan consisted of a three-acre, somewhat linear strip along the river.

But since the last public meeting, the city has been able to add another acre within the development.

"It's a pretty large scale park," said Chelsea McCann, Principal with Walker Macy Landscape Architects.

She said the community's input inspired them to create a space with a foundation of inclusiveness, flexibility, sustainability, culture and environment, and conserving animal habitat.

During the meeting, attendees weighed in on the designs and participated in a live audience poll.

People we spoke with seemed pleased with how inclusive the planning has been so far.

"It's fun to kind of push back and forth to see if we can integrate more than one, and I suspect that's where we'll wind up," said Eugene resident Dan Dingfield.

"And that feedback becomes our inspiration and helps us guide the design," said McCann, "because our ultimate goal is to create a park that's really a reflection of the community of Eugene and who you are."

Proudfoot said people can choose certain details within each design they like.

"All of that's been really helpful for us to say, 'okay, these are the kind of elements people care about, this is the level of urban park people want,' and then we'll be able to create a final design from there," said Proudfoot.

A final design scheduled to be reviewed in September.

People have until August 10 to complete the survey on the three park designs.

You can find the link to that survey on the City of Eugene's website.

City officials say park construction is expected to begin in 2020.

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