Downtown Riverfront Park
Where the Willamette Meets the City
As a community, we trace our origins to the river. Eugene Skinner created his first plat for this city located along the Willamette River’s southern bank, but severe floods forced him to higher ground. He drew a second map of Eugene with the Downtown Park Blocks as its centerpiece and the city took its first step away from the water’s edge, leaving Eugene’s riverfront to be primarily populated by industry for the next 150 years.
One of the priorities the City heard most clearly in talking to the community about the future of parks and recreation in Eugene, is providing access to the river – for everything from recreation to simply enjoying the views. The 4-acre Downtown Riverfront Park will be the heart of the greater riverfront development that reimagines a new, vibrant future and will, once again, unite our city with the river.
The Downtown Riverfront Park is all about making connections – not just to downtown, but up and down the river as part of the 12-mile riverfront path system. Across the river, only minutes away by way of the Peter DeFazio Bridge, this park will complement all the features of the 373-acre Alton Baker Park, making both sides of the river part of the riverfront experience.
The conceptual design phase was completed in fall 2018. Project permitting and construction documentation will follow, with park construction expected to begin in 2020. The goal is to have transformed this industrial site into a vibrant Downtown Riverfront Park for current and future generations to enjoy, and just in time for the 2021 World Track and Field Championships.
Information about the 16-acre Downtown Riverfront Redevelopment can be found at eugene-or.gov/riverfront.
Focus groups, open houses, surveys, and online outreach helped shape our comprehensive, three-month public involvement process. Read the full Public Involvement Summary here. (Note: this is a large file, please allow time to download)
During the course of our public engagement process, we received more than 3,500 responses from the community about how they envision the Downtown Riverfront Park. Here are some of the highlights:
Looking Forward to 2019
During the course of the public engagement period, the project boundary expanded from a three-acre park to four acres. At the September 27 public meeting, we revealed the final design concept for the four-acre park.
As we look forward to the next steps—design development and prep for construction—we will be reflecting on the inspiring and thought-provoking conversations we've had with the community. We heard comments that were both validating and motivating to continue refining our work.
While our official public engagement process has concluded, that doesn't mean we don't want to stay in touch. We look forward to sharing news, project updates and glimpses behind-the-scenes as we move through the next stages.