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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Aug 05

Sustainability Team Annual Update

Posted to Climate Connection by Mark Nystrom

The Sustainability Team presented an annual update to the Mayor and City Council on July 24th. The update included the following highlights:

  • Future Physical Conditions White Paper.  This white paper provides a forecast of the impact of climate change in Eugene including warmer temperatures, reduced snowpack, and increased population. 
  • ECC Meetings – Round 1. Eugene Climate Collaborative (ECC) partners met around six topic areas last summer to discuss the future physical conditions in Eugene, share the CAP2.0 process, and learn about the actions their organizations are planning on completing over the next 5-10 years.
  • Fossil Fuel and Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs) Reduction Forecast. This paper measures the impact of ECC partner actions in reducing fossil fuel use and ghgs and comparing those reductions to our CRO goals.
  • ECC Meetings – Round 2. ECC partners met around six topic areas last fall to share the Fossil Fuel and GHGs Reduction Forecast, learn about additional actions ECC partners are planning to take, and gaining input on the Equity Panel process.
  • Gap Strategies. After learning that the ECC’s planned actions would not get us to the CRO goals, City Council directed the project team to compile a list of actions that could.  This document includes a variety of actions to consider as we chart a path towards reaching the CRO goals.
  • CAP2.0 Equity Panel.  Six local organizations that work with marginalized communities came together to share their priorities and concerns related to climate change.  Representatives from this Panel shared their recommendations with City Council in June.
  • Community Outreach and Engagement. The project team has been at events including CAP2.0 specific open houses, Making It Happen Fairs with the Planning Division, and Party in the Parks.  We’ve updated the website, added a blog, and created a video to better share our message.
The Sustainability Team will continue to be busy over the summer. 

We will have a draft CAP2.0 document to share with you in the fall.  We will also be working on an electric vehicle (EV) strategy, supporting work on the Northwest Natural agreement, and we will have more to share around our ongoing communications and engagement work.

For more information on the CAP2.0, please visit our website.  

Jul 22

Weekly Recap - July 19, 2019

Posted to Keeping in touch: Notes from the Mayor by Elena Domingo

The main topic of the week was agreement by the city council to direct staff to move forward on the next phase of implementing the recommendations of the TAC report.

As you may recall, the TAC report assessing our homeless services and feasibility of a permanent shelter made 10 recommendations.  A joint county/city Implementation Steering Committee then worked with staff to create a framework for that implementation which identified timelines, personnel, costs, and outcomes.  There is a sense of urgency about this work.  We all know we are facing a burgeoning challenge.  The goal of the implementation is to sequence the actions appropriately  in order to act as quickly and effectively as possible.

The five recommendations begin with the new position of Strategic Initiatives Manager who can execute and administer our increasing investment, and report to both county and city governments.  Some have questioned the price of $525,000 over three years.  Please keep in mind that is $175,000 per year and reflects both salary – for one or more people, plus program cost.  Leadership is critical and this investment heralds a new era of stronger coordination between city and county.

Second, the council approved the allocation of $836,000 toward the creation of a permanent shelter.  The plan is to build a modular “sprung” unit because they are fast to construct and easily modified and reconfigured.  The buildings come in several forms. Additional funds will be needed to furnish the interior. More details on this structure cannot be finalized until we find a site. Identifying the site is the critical challenge – and will be the key initial responsibility of the Strategic Initiative Manager.

The shelter is intended to house only 75 people at a time. This is based on the recommendation of the TAC report that the shelter should serve as an open door into services, not as a long term place for people to stay.  We expect consistent turnover as residents move on to more permanent housing.

Third, the council approved investment in a mobile outreach team that can meet unsheltered people where they are, rather than require them to come to services.  Building trust, relationships and understanding is essential to encourage often traumatized and easily triggered people to take a risk by entering a shelter or accessing other services.

Fourth, the council approved $60,000 for a landlord outreach program.  This has worked in other cities where they were able to maximize the use of existing housing stock through an array of options, whether that is a tax benefit to the landlord or a connection of the landlord to tenant mediation services.

And finally, the council approved $279,000 in contingency funds that can be used to meet emerging or emergency challenges – these might be identified by the mobile outreach team or by the landlord engagement process or in some other way.

Coupled with the expanded investment in Community Safety, these  efforts will make a visible and lasting difference in our community – addressing the suffering caused by homelessness and restoring confidence in the safety of our community.  I will add one more priority: we also need to work on mental health and drug addiction treatment.  This is not within the city’s departments – it is a county function.  I asked the Poverty and Homelessness Board this week to provide us with a full picture of the behavioral health services currently available so we can collectively understand our pathway to addressing this most visible challenge.

Apr 17

Hitting the Jackpot with Hall's Aster

Posted to Parks Pulse by Elissa Gavette

The hard work and patience of the Native Plant Nursery staff and volunteers has paid off, literally. A key plant for restoration sites, Hall's Aster plays an important role in providing late season nectar and pollen to bees. But propagating this precious plant doesn’t come easy, which is why it’s worth $1,000 a pound. This season, the Native Plant Nursery yielded 10 pounds, valued at $10,000!

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Feb 08

Renovation and expansion plans update

Posted to Rec News & Stories by Benjamin Schorzman

Rec is hard at work on our bond goals of caring for and making the most of what we have and serving the entire community. We have begun the design phases of the two top bond priorities: renovations and expansions to Campbell Community Center and Echo Hollow Pool & Fitness Center.

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Oct 25

New Public Piano Downtown

Posted to What's Happening Downtown? by Sarah-Kate Sharkey

Light Up the World Public Piano
A new piece of playable art is on its way to downtown Eugene!

The donated piano will be painted on the first floor of the Atrium building and then installed in the Park Blocks for the Nov. 17 Light Up Downtown tree lighting event. The piano will be available for the public to play through mid-December.

Local artist David Placencia will use a unique bubble paint technique to transform the piano into a work of art. His theme is “Light Up the World: A New Time of Unity”, and his design features colorful ribbons spiraling from an oval Mayan calendar. The public is invited to watch him at work on the first floor of the Atrium building (10th and Olive) from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Oct. 30 and Nov. 1, 3, 6 and 13. Examples of Placencia’s past work can be seen at

The piano will be the City of Eugene's third piece of playable public art this year. The first two pianos, stationed this past summer outside the Downtown Public Library and the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, were extensively enjoyed by musicians and audiences. Both pianos currently reside in Eugene Rec community centers to delight patrons during the rainy months.

The playable art program gives musicians the opportunity to share their talents and the public the chance to enjoy live music in a non-traditional setting. The pianos also serve as temporary works of public art, painted and collaged by talented local artists chosen to bring more color to downtown’s core. Similar programs exist in many cities throughout the country. For information about the Portland program, visit