Right-of-Way Park Strip – a mini neighborhood park in front of your house.
Katie Blair-Terrazas, Volunteer Coordinator with City of Eugene Parks and Open Space contacted the Southeast Neighbors with this news item.
Donald Street from Fox Hollow to 43rd is a very unique area of town, in that it has extremely wide park strips (15’ or more). Park strips are City-owned rights-of-way between the sidewalk and street. While there are not a tremendous number of empty planting spots along this stretch, there are numerous sites that are underutilized, and many trees that are not in good shape or that have inherent problems due to their species. Ideal sites for planting large trees in continuity are hard to come by in Eugene. We know large trees have exponentially greater benefits than small- or medium-size trees. The greater benefits include carbon sequestering, rain fall interception, temperature mitigation, particulate interception (helping to improve air quality), and enhanced wildlife habitat and neighborhood aesthetics. Because of the ideal park strip, Urban Forestry is planning to use Donald Street from Fox Hollow to 43rd as a one-of-a-kind site for a linear arboretum. The idea for a linear arboretum came from a similar successful Friends of Trees project in Portland. See http://www.friendsoftrees.org/resources/linear-arboretum to learn more.
Trees being considered for the linear arboretum are large, drought-resistant and storm-resilient native trees such as Valley Ponderosa Pine, Black Oak, White Oak and Madrone. There are few neighborhoods that have a continuity of native species—a corridor to connect natural areas.
Urban Forestry is looking at two years to begin implementation and three years before the project is well-underway.
1. City staff review of current GIS tree inventory to look at underutilized and vacant planting sites.
2. City staff outreach to property owners to propose changes and get input.
Implementation of the linear arboretum will start with planting of vacant sites with a view to phasing out trees or other plants in the right-of-way that are not in great shape or are structurally unsound. Planting the linear arboretum will be a gradual, long-term project.
Currently Urban Forestry is soliciting feedback and engaging potential stake holders. Contact Scott Altenhoff via email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions or to comment.