1/20/16: It’s official: the City of Eugene Government City Council on Tuesday unanimously passed the naming of “Erin Noble Headwater Park!” What an incredible gesture to the remembrance of Erin, who loved these headwaters trails so. It’s time to hike!
Application for Naming Erin Noble Headwaters Park
(Date of Death: 23 June 2012)
Before he died, Erin Noble pledged to help his parents save the Amazon Creek Headwaters property from development. This 15-year campaign led by his mother, Deborah Noble and others, has finally been realized two-and-one-half years after Erin’s tragic death. His parents were catalyzed by the loss of their only child to secure his dream of preserving this unique ecosystem. Deborah and Peter began the Be-Noble Foundation dedicated to that goal as a legacy to Erin.
Erin’s untimely death was a profound loss to the Eugene community at large, as evidenced by the tremendous outpouring of grief from family, friends, community builders, Country Fair workers, and those Erin had met briefly on the Ridgeline Trail or in a coffee shop or yoga class. Hundreds, including many politicians as well as family and friends from across the country, attended Erin’s memorial at Mount Pisgah. The testimonials from those who had known him for a month were as inspired as those lucky enough to have shared his lifetime.
Erin grew up in Eugene, living adjacent to the headwaters property, which he walked regularly to the summit of Spencer Butte. Erin embodied the best qualities of a Eugene upbringing: he was smart, athletic, compassionate, open-minded, environmentally conscious, engaging, and driven. He went through school, from Fox Hollow French Immersion to Pomona College, as a straight-A student, played varsity tennis and was an excellent racquetball player. He traveled the world and spoke several languages fluently. Nearer to home, he hiked 1000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, luring his father to join him for short stretches.
Erin gave to the Eugene community in countless, unseen ways. Although his many accomplishments were impressive, they are not what captured the attention and affection of those lucky enough to know him. Many who had met him but once as well as those who had known him a lifetime described seeing in Erin an intense life force full of joy, generosity, and determination. He improved the lives of everyone he met in Eugene by the quality of his engagement with each one. Because of his extroversion, those people numbered many.
Erin was a source of inspiration for both his parents, even in his death, buoying them to continue living fully on his behalf and fighting to save a piece of the natural world he loved. Naming this watershed after Erin would serve to continue the conversations he began: those asking important questions about why we are here and what we can do to live a meaningful life and preserve our planet. Renaming this property the Erin Noble Headwaters Park would keep alive the memory of a young man who exemplified the best Eugene has to offer as well as honoring the family whose efforts saved this precious corner of our greenway.
A Public Hearing in front of Council will be held on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 7:30 pm in Harris Hall.
A public comment period will be opening soon during which written comments in favor or opposition can be submitted in writing. Council should take action (vote) at that meeting. Emails may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org .