Public parks are a critical part of the quality of life in Lane County. They provide affordable access to recreational opportunities, and include some of Lane County’s most beautiful natural places from the coastal parks in the west, through parks like Mt. Pisgah/Howard Buford Park and Armitage Park in the Eugene/Springfield area, all the way east to the rivers and forests of the McKenzie and Willamette River valleys. Visits and usage of Lane County parks have increased significantly since the pandemic, providing an affordable and welcome choice for people wanting to exercise, gather, or just enjoy time in the outdoors. People are turning to the parks for both the physical and mental health benefits of being able to play, hike, exercise, and gather in a safe and accessible environment.
Lane County parks are well-loved and heavily used, yet needed investments to maintain critical access to water, hiking trails, and managed recreation areas have not been available because of competing priorities for limited county tax dollars. Lane County parks currently receive no County general fund dollars.
Lane County parks are in need of a dedicated funding source to create a committed set of investments that will focus on access and improving park amenities like restrooms, water access, and hiking trails. These levy dollars will be used to build cooperative partnerships with other governments, private groups, and Lane County departments to leverage funds and grants, creating a larger impact for a limited investment. These dollars will have built-in accountability with a yearly audit and report back to the community on the progress of the investments