The Future of Parks and Recreation in Eugene


The City is working to set priorities for the next 10-plus years of Parks and Recreation in Eugene. With this collective vision in hand, they will create proposals for the future of the parks and recreation system and engage the community in conversation and input on those proposals. A workshop for South Eugene at the Hilyard Center to share feedback on draft recommendations on Saturday, February 13th from 10:30-noon. Childcare and food will be provided so we hope you’ll join us.

poolThe needs assessment synthesizes 12 months of work spent collecting ideas and opinions from the community and assessing the strengths, challenges and opportunities of the existing Parks and Recreation System. If all the opportunities that emerged from the community outreach were summarized into only one theme, it would be to “build on our strengths”.

  1. Take care of what we have. When asked about the prioritization of future financial investments, survey respondents overwhelmingly and repeatedly voiced the importance and value of “caring for what we have.”
  2. Provide more basic amenities and restrooms. People discussed the importance of informative and clear signage, places to sit, shade and shelter from the elements, lighting, connective trails and paths and – perhaps most important – restrooms.
  3. Provide more access to water. Between our beloved Willamette River and City pools, Eugene’s residents have a real and deep appreciation for access to water during our hot and dry summer months.
  4. Provide more community-based events. Parks in Eugene are places where people come to socialize, meet their neighbors, engage in civic contributions and just get outside.

Five themes have emerged to guide this work:

  1. Serve the entire community. Provide equitable and welcoming access to parks, recreation facilities and programs regardless of geography, culture, ability or income.
  2. Care for what we have. Ensure that basic amenities are provided and that they are safe and clean. Be responsible stewards of current assets and infrastructure by making the best possible use of what we have.
  3. Grow responsibly. Understand where growth of the system is required to meet the needs of the community. Focus on quality of life and build on existing strengths.
  4. Integrate with other systems. Make regional connections and recognize the inter-dependence of Parks and Recreation with public health, transportation, land use, green infrastructure, education, art and culture and economic development.
  5. Invest in partnerships. Continue to leverage Eugene’s assets and expand services to the community through effectively partnering with public agencies, non-profits, the private sector and community volunteers. In 2021, for the first time ever on U.S. soil, Eugene will host the World Track and Field Championships. This is one of the largest international sporting events (behind the Olympics and the World Cup). With the eyes of the world on Eugene, there is a great opportunity to make investments in the parks and recreation system that will inspire the world and benefit the community for years to come.

11098261_1179846765380242_9141513894107194938_nThe following system-wide trends will have implications on the services that Parks and Recreation provide:

  • Eugene’s population is growing, aging and becoming more ethnically diverse.
  • Many Eugene families are struggling economically.
  • Eugene and Lane County residents are suffering health consequences of inactivity.
  • Safety and security in parks is a growing concern.
  • The effects of climate change will have impacts on parks and the community.

Review the complete executive summary at https://eugparksandrec.atavist.com/parks-and-recreation-system-plan or view the full Needs Assessment Report, available now at www.eugparksandrec.org.