Charnel Mulligan Park Renovation

Revamped Charnel Mulligan Park - click for larger image

Charnel Mulligan design drawing

Current Status

The official grand opening celebration was held on Thursday, June 15, 2017. 

Construction of Charnel Mulligan Park is substantially complete. The security fence surrounding the park was removed in early April and a few remaining items (NW corner alley fencing, a few trees, final lawn and drainage improvements) will be completed over the coming year. The park now has a new expanded playground, a renewed concrete plaza area with an integral basketball 1/2 court, larger flat lawn area for better visibility and play, a new sand and water play area, new furnishings, landscape and irrigation renovations, a loop path, and 37 new trees. The project benefited tremendously from a very active group of neighbors and with the engagement and support of the Jefferson Westside Neighborhood Association.

Construction Documents and Bid Information

Project Background

In recent years, the park has been severely impacted by inappropriate, illegal and dangerous behaviors, and thus the goals of the renovation project are to increase safety through better visibility and control of access points, and increase the attractiveness and functionality of park features in order to draw more positive users. 

During the extensive public engagement process begun in 2012 and documented below, the following original 1984 design elements were identified as key contributors to the difficulty staff and police have had trying to manage the behavioral problems:
  • a partially screened shelter covering several picnic tables with poor lighting,
  • a hidden but very accessible path and ‘escape route’ to/from the back corner of the site,
  • large berms planted with trees limiting visibility and creating comfortable and well-obscured hiding places and gathering spots behind them

Eugene Police Departments strong recommendation to staff and at one of the five public meetings was to remove the shelter, close the back corner access, remove the berms, and provide clear visibility from the street into every corner of the park. Neighbors participating in the planning process agreed with these findings and the final endorsed plan improvements included: shelter removal (already complete), removal of the berms and trees for greatly improved visibility, gating the back alley path, ADA improvements with new concrete plaza paving and a new loop path, a larger grassy field, a larger play area with new equipment, a new sand and water play feature, a small basketball court, and new park lighting, furniture, trees and landscaping.

As part of the project, most of the trees located on the berm were removed. Additionally, about a third of the trees in the park were in fair to poor condition, were damaging infrastructure, or were not appropriate species to thrive in the local soils and setting. 

Prior to construction, 35 trees on site were posted and then removed. At the conclusion of the renovation 37 new trees were planted as replacements. Removal of the trees was necessary to meet the goals of the renovation and was an essential piece of the final concept plan. The concept plan came directly out of an extensive three year public engagement process (a typical neighborhood park process takes 1-2 years), was endorsed unanimously by the JWN Board as well as many if not most adjacent neighbors, and by a large majority of survey respondents and meeting attendees.

Funding for the renovation included System Development Charges (SDCs), which are assessed on new development in Eugene, and General Funds. Additionally, the project was funded, in part, by a federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), which Parks and Open Space applied for and received the maximum amount available. Finally, neighbors raised over $15,000 in cash to assure installation of a sand and water play element. The project was scheduled to be built last year, but due to a change in federal CDBG environmental requirements was unexpectedly delayed until this summer. Neighbors and staff are eagerly anticipating the park reopening. A Grand Opening celebration is planned for late spring 2017.

This project is a great example of neighbors working closely together with parks staff to help address aging infrastructure and behavioral problems that were occurring in the park, and create a vibrant space for community members.

For further information, please contact the planning project manager, Philip Richardson, Landscape Architect at 541-682-4906. 

Past Updates

Concrete Plaza Installation

Concrete cutting took place in early September 2016. Our standard specifications limit construction during the work week between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., but there are a few exceptions including concrete saw cutting.

The large concrete plaza closest to West 17th Street was poured in early September. Concrete requires joints to be cut or tooled while the concrete is fresh, and both methods were used on the plaza installation. Timing is critical to a successful concrete plaza, and a saw cutting machine must be used on the same day the concrete is placed. We worked with the contractor to make sure every effort was taken to complete the work required during the regular work hours. Thanks to all our neighbors for their patience. 

New Federal Funding Requirements delay construction

In early summer of 2015, new Federal Housing and Urban Development guidance regarding expenditure of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds caused a sudden, unexpected and disappointing delay in park construction. Additional information was submitted over the remainder of the year, and final approval for use of these funds was given in spring of 2016.

Sand and Water Play Fundraising Complete!

In June of 2105, a completely neighborhood driven fundraising effort was concluded, raising over $15,000 to fund installation of a sand and water play feature in the park. Thank you and congratulations to all who participated!

Picnic Shelter

In May of 2015, the picnic shelter was declared surplus property and put out to a public bidding process. The winning bid was from a neighborhood resident, and in July 2015, the shelter was moved to property catty-corner from the park.

Fifth Public Meeting

On December 9, 2014, from 6:30-8:30 PM about 20 neighbors and citizens attended a project update meeting to hear about the current schedule and budget considerations. Project priorities and potential neighborhood fundraising and involvement was discussed. Funding available could not ensure that the park construction would include every element in the Final Concept Plan. Tom Happy, neighbor and JWN Board Member volunteered to help raise funds in order to ensure inclusion of a sand and water play element in the final project. 

Community Development Block Grant Funding Received!

A Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) was applied for and received in early 2014. The total budget for park redevelopment is now about $500,000, which may cover most of the desired improvements illustrated on the Final Design Concept.

Fourth Public Meeting

The fourth public meeting was held on Thursday, January 23rd at the Washington Park Community Center. The Meeting was attended by about 20 neighbors. A summary of the public involvement process to date was given and the final design concept was presented.
Final Design Concept
Summary of Public Involvement as of January 23, 2014

Third Web Survey Results

The Draft Design Proposal feedback survey closed on September 29th with 67 responses.
Survey #3 Summary and Detailed Results
Copy of Survey #3

Draft Design Proposal

Charnel Mulligan Park Draft Design Proposal

Jefferson Westside Neighborhood Picnic in Charnel Mulligan Park
The neighborhood association picnic was held in the park on Thursday, August 15, 2013 from 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.  A booth about the park renovation was staffed and copies of the draft design proposal were handed out. The picnic was immediately followed by the City of Eugene Recreation Program - Summer in the City: Get Your Chops Back from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Third Public Meeting

The third public workshop was held on Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 6:30 p.m. in the Washington Park Community Center, 2025 Washington St, Eugene. The meeting was attended by about 14 neighbors. Staff gave a short PowerPoint presentation giving results of the second survey, then presented a Draft Design Proposal for discussion.
Third Public Meeting PowerPoint Presentation

Second Web Survey

Survey #2 Summary and Detailed Results
Non-Web Survey Feedback as of 5/23/13
Copy of Survey #2

Second Public Meeting

The second public workshop was held on February 12, 2013, 7:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St. At the request of the Jefferson Westside Neighborhood Association (JWN), the meeting immediately followed a short JWN meeting. Staff gave a short recap of the project and then presented results of the first web survey (available below). Sergeant Larry Crompton of the Eugene Police Department (EPD) Bike Patrol next discussed the EPD's activity in the park, bike patrols, the coming Park Watch program, and EPD's view of the changes that would best alleviate the numerous behavioral problems found daily in the park. His recommendations included removing the shelter, making all locations completely visible from the street, and closing the back alley access to 16th.
Second Public Workshop PowerPoint Presentation

First Web Survey

Survey #1 Summary and Detailed Results
Non Web Survey Feedback as of 2/11/13
Copy of Survey #1

First Public Meeting

The public involvement process began with the first public workshop held on December 4th, 2012 at the Washington Park Community Center. About 50 community members were in attendance for a PowerPoint presentation by City Staff followed by a question and answer period. A web based survey was announced, and attendees were encouraged to use the web survey to provide feedback.
First Public Workshop PowerPoint Presentation

Project Overview

Charnel Mulligan Park is a one acre developed neighborhood park located northwest of the intersection of Charnelton Street and West 17th Avenue, in the Jefferson Westside Neighborhood. The land was obtained in a three-way trade between EWEB, Lane County and the City in 1980. The park was developed in 1983 using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds according to a design by Cameron and Associates.

The park design is approaching its 30-year anniversary, and is due for renovation. Additionally, serious behavioral problems are commonly occurring in the park which has necessitated increased police patrols. Although changes in the physical design of the park cannot solve these problems, they can have a positive effect both by discouraging inappropriate use, and encouraging positive activities in the park. Some of the design problems identified to date include:

  • Shelter as a location that is drawing users who abuse the site and threaten other park users
  • Lack of visibility through the site, especially behind the berms on the north and west sides of the park
  • Old and less-functional play equipment
  • Poor site circulation for pedestrians and bikes

The POS Division plans to apply again for CDBG funds to supplement the existing POS budgeted funds. Although it was originally thought that CDBG funds would be applied for in February of 2013, the decision has been made to postpone the application until the following cycle in 2014. This decision was based both on feedback given at the first public workshop as well as further information about the CDBG application process.

Background Material

2011 Aerial Map
1982 Concept Plan
Charnel Mulligan Park Context Map

Resource Material Provided by Community Members

Charnel Mulligan Park Group Notes

A local group of interested neighbors has been meeting to discuss potential solutions to various problems they have been experiencing in Charnel Mulligan Park. They have been in communication with City staff, and at the request of the Parks and Open Space Division have written up their notes to be shared with the general public. If you have questions about these notes, please feel free to contact Tom Happy.

The following guide is published by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services: Dealing With Crime and Disorder in Urban Parks

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), an organization in the United Kingdom, has published a study titled Decent Parks? Decent behaviour? The link between the quality of parks and user behaviour.

NatureGrounds: Putting Nature Into Play is a website run by PlayCore a commercial play equipment company, which contains a guidebook for development of naturalized playgrounds, as well as case studies and numerous links to additional playground resources.

Time Magazine Article "How Wifi Is Reinventing Our City Parks"

For More Information

Project manager, Philip Richardson, Landscape Architect at 541-682-4906.

Please send Philip an email if you would like to be put on our Interested Parties mailing list to be kept abreast of project updates!

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