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City of Eugene unveils concepts for new riverfront park

From the City of Eugene: Dramatic wide open views begin at the main entry plaza where you will be perched above the river rushing below. The water feature flows from the nature play area along the plaza’s edge and down to the river. This unifying element provides endless opportunities to interpret stories of the mill race, the site’s history, and sustainable practices.

The central activity zone is defined by the urban amphitheater that will provide unique upriver views and accessible access down to the river’s edge. Along its edges, the amphitheater blends into the restored riverbank, shaded by the riparian canopy overhead. Walking along the shared bike/pedestrian path, you will find a series of smaller river viewpoints offering views of the river below.

EUGENE, Ore. - The City of Eugene unveiled three design concepts for the new riverfront park planned for the former Eugene Water & Electric Board property along the Willamette River.

"It's likely that the final concept will combine desired features from each concept," the City says in a public survey about the design concepts.

Here is how the City describes the three concepts:

Design Option 1: Winding Paths

The main entry plaza offers panoramic views of the river from the overlook’s edge.

From there, a series of pedestrian paths meander through the restored riparian zone and connect a variety of high activity spaces including nature play areas, garden terraces, and smaller river overlooks with framed views beyond. A network of smaller, more intimate paths weave through this beautiful, natural landscape. For a more direct route, the primary bike path gracefully winds from one end of the park to the other, creating a seamless, unifying thread. The central core of the park is defined by sculptural topography that brings the river bank up into the central eco-lawn and gradually rises to a viewing hill with places to sit and enjoy the landscape beyond.

Design Option 2: Urban Amphitheater

Dramatic wide open views begin at the main entry plaza where you will be perched above the river rushing below. The water feature flows from the nature play area along the plaza’s edge and down to the river. This unifying element provides endless opportunities to interpret stories of the mill race, the site’s history, and sustainable practices.

The central activity zone is defined by the urban amphitheater that will provide unique upriver views and accessible access down to the river’s edge. Along its edges, the amphitheater blends into the restored riverbank, shaded by the riparian canopy overhead. Walking along the shared bike/pedestrian path, you will find a series of smaller river viewpoints offering views of the river below.

Design Option 3: River Terraces

The viewing deck offers great views on both sides. While sipping coffee from the adjacent café, you can enjoy views to the river and people-watch on the main plaza. During the summer months, the plaza is alive with activity and the shade pavilion offers protection from the sun while families enjoy the nature play area.

A shared bike/pedestrian path arcs across the length of the park connecting each end. Mirroring the flow of the path and the bend of the river, a series of river terraces create a central activity zone. The terraces step down to provide a dynamic sequence of river views while offering accessible routes to the river’s edge. Demonstration eco-gardens encourage pollinator species.

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