August 17, 2022

Parks and Natural Resources Highlights

To view this newsletter in your web browser click here. 

The River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan is in the final stage of the project. After years of gathering community input for the visions, goals, and policies in the Neighborhood Plan, the project team is excited to share the draft Neighborhood Plan back out to the community.

For the month of August, the project newsletters will be highlighting the five topic areas in the River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan each week – Community, Transportation, Parks and Natural Resources, Economic Development, and Land Use. This week’s focus is on the Parks and Natural Resources topic area.

The community vision for Parks and Natural Resources:

River Road and Santa Clara celebrate a rich diversity of private and shared green spaces, including parks for recreation, natural areas that support native plants and wildlife, and farmland for food production. All residents have a clean, safe, accessible, and well-maintained park or recreation facility close to their home. Residents have access to the Willamette River, which is celebrated as a natural asset, a defining characteristic of both neighborhoods, and a statewide resource. Natural assets, such as the tree canopy, soils, and the watershed are protected for future generations and are highly valued and cared for as natural infrastructure that enhances ecosystem health, provides opportunities for recreation, and supports the working landscape.

The Neighborhood Plan policies (statements adopted to provide a consistent course of action and move the community toward attainment of its goals) for Parks and Natural Resources focus on:

  • providing access and connectivity to parks
  • greater availability of recreational opportunities
  • balancing preservation and access to the Willamette River
  • promotion of agricultural enterprises

The proposed draft code aims to:

  • enhance public access and connections to the river 
  • recognize the significance of the Greenway and protect, maintain, preserve, and enhance its natural, scenic, historic, and recreational qualities
  • use development standards to provide a buffer between the Willamette River Greenway Setback and new development and to limit the mass of buildings

Santa Clara Community Park Update

The Santa Clara community remains a high priority for development of much needed park services and work continues on the development of the Santa Clara Community Park. Santa Clara Community Park is a future community park site currently comprised of two open fields with informal walking paths on the north and east sides of Madison Middle School, off Wilkes Drive. City Council recently approved the annexation application for the park, which will allow for the City-owned property to be developed as the Santa Clara Community Park.

Phase 1 of the development of the new 35-acre park will include a playground, restroom, and park shelter as well as trees, lawn, lighting, parking, hard and soft surface paths, and a pedestrian bridge. The north and south halves of the site will be connected with a pedestrian bridge to span the remnant oxbow of the Willamette River and the banks will include some planting enhancements as a part of the bridge work. To see the most current plans for the park, click here

The City has applied for a local grant that would also provide funding for path connections between the north and south properties and perimeter walking trails. These potential paths are shown on the map as “grant funded improvements,” development will depend on if the City is a successful grant recipient. Additionally, the Eugene Parks Foundation is in the fundraising stage for a spray play feature for the park. 

To stay up to date on this project, visit the Santa Clara Community Park Engage Eugene page

Have Questions?


For more information, project updates, and important dates visit the RRSC Neighborhood Plan project website and the Engage Eugene project page
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