Following the death of Edwin R. Smith in 2014, friends, family members, and former colleagues asked the City of Eugene Mayor and Council to consider renaming the Washington-Jefferson Park in honor of Mr. Smith due the role he played in securing the land underneath the I-105 bridge back when it was being constructed.
On January 14, 2019, the City Council passed a motion to “request that the Mayor create an ad hoc committee in accordance with council policy on naming of public facilities, to consider the request to rename Washington-Jefferson Park in honor of Edwin Smith.” The committee met over the month of June 2019 and was comprised of former colleagues of Ed Smith, members of the skateboard community, and a representative of the Whiteaker Community Council.
The committee is recommending the park name be changed to Edwin R. Smith Park but that the WJ Skatepark retain its name. Items considered as part of this recommendation included:
In addition, there was agreement that the WJ Skatepark should retain its name due to the tremendous amount of community effort that created it as well as the fact that it is nationally known by its name. The committee proposed that the new park entry sign read Edwin R. Smith Park and WJ Skatepark.
Ed Smith served the City of Eugene in many capacities from 1962 until his retirement in 1991. He was Director of Parks and Recreation from 1964 through 1980, and the Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services from 1988 to 1991. He managed the Eugene Conference Center and Hult Center construction and became Director of the new Facilities Management Department, then Director of Hult Center Operations. He passed away on November 13, 2014. Read more about Ed Smith