Friends of Monroe Park

Become a Friend of Monro Park

All JWN Residents and Business Owners are invited!

Want to get involved? Email us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Volunteers Needed!

Everyday, neighbors patrol Monroe Park picking up trash and removing graffiti. While Parks staff do clean-up, their times is limited, they generally do not pick up rash in the Right-of-Way, and never pick-up small items like cigarette butts, bottle caps, and vape cartridges.

Only one or two neighbors cover the park regularly and another couple intermittently or when needed. In the interest in equity and sharing the load, we are looking for neighbors to commit to one day a week and do trash pick-up. No worries if you go out of town or catch a cold, we can cover you. Currently, Thursday’s are covered, but we could use folks for other days of the week to lessen the load on our primary volunteers. We have Park’s supplied trash pickers and buckets and can train you on any eventuality. Really, it is great way to meet folks (in a good way) and give back to the community. Contact us if you are interested.


A Report on Neighborhood Discussion: The Future of Monroe Park

Monroe Park neighbors and volunteers met and decided on a series of requests to the Eugene City Council for needed improvements to Monroe Park. Ward 1 Councilor Emily Semple attended and made some helpful suggestions. We already have received a positive response from Public Works that the staff are developing a plan for the park based on our concerns. Here is the letter we submitted.

Dear Mayor and City Councilors,
Jefferson Westside Neighbors and the Friends of Monroe Park want to express our gratitude for recent park improvements and phase one of our new parking control measures – both have made a major difference in the overall health of the park.

As you likely know, neighbors contribute over 1000 hours every year to keep Monroe Park clean and safe, including daily trash pick-up and graffiti abatement. The park is a critical public resource, especially for low- and middle-income families.

Monroe Park had a minor renovation in 2005 and in the intervening years it has gotten a lot of hard use. The lighting system failed and was recently replaced. The bathrooms are getting a long-needed remodel that will make them weathertight and available year-round as well as easier to maintain. However, similarly vintage infrastructure also has reached the end of its lifespan or has long been obsolete. To make the most of these recent investments, Jefferson Westside Neighbors and the Friends of Monroe Park request the following items be considered for future funding via the Parks Bond or other programs.

  1. Renovate Broken Irrigation System: Large sections of grass area are dead and planting beds are stressed and barren due to the disrepair of the irrigation system. After several years of COVID car camping and other hard park uses, we desperately need new plants, but this can’t happen until we have reliable irrigation. In the climate-challenged future, having cool urban green space will become an important resource, especially for children who live in muitifamily dwellings with little or no yard. Recall, 75% of the JWN are renters and we are the third lowest income neighborhood. The poor state of the landscaping makes the park unattractive to users, regardless of how many hours we put in with mulching and weeding. [NOTE: Parks had a crew out testing the irrigation system the next day!]
  2. New Park Furniture: Aside one new metal bench, all the benches and picnic tables are wood. These wooden fixtures, especially the picnic tables, need repair often, get carved on and cut up, and attract graffiti. Volunteers paint on a Friday and there is fresh graffiti by Sunday. Metal furniture is less likely to get tagged and is easier to clean and maintain. It also would look great with the new metal lamp posts! Attractive parks are attractive to users.
  3. Water and Power Access for Events: When the splash pool was shut down many years ago, there was a promise that it would be replaced with another feature. That never happened. However, this obsolete structure makes a good stage, and the nearby hill makes a great audience seating area. Currently, there is no power or water access for events. The old splash feature has power and water access; we request that the power and water outlets are upgraded and made available for events. The more positive activity in the park, the less space for anti-social activities. Such a minor upgrade would turn a useless eyesore into an asset. It also will allow volunteers to pressure wash sidewalk messes and graffiti.
  4. Improved Play Area: Like most of Monroe Park, the children’s play area gets hard use. We ask that Parks staff develop a plan to upgrade and expand the playground to include equipment for older children. Further, it may be worth considering fencing the play area and reserving access to children and families as a strategy to reduce adult uses and camping. Safety, amenities, and families in parks create a positive feedback loop.

Jefferson Westside Neighbors and the Friends of Monroe Park have demonstrated our commitment and passion in protecting and enhancing this important urban green space with hours and advocacy. An investment in Monroe Park is an investment in the future of Eugene and a vibrant downtown residential area with walkable neighborhoods.

Parking Control Begins
  • 2-hour limit on park street side (coming in September): Signs will read: Mon-Sun, 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM, Tow Away (Monroe Park).
    • Without a valid, City-issued on-street parking permit: Vehicles must be moved at least two blocks from the original parking location and remain moved for at least 72 hours before returning.
    • With a valid, City-issued on-street parking permit: Although the vehicle must still be moved every 72 hours, it may be returned to its original parking location. (Example is a residential parking permit)
  • Permit parking with 2-hour free parking in front of homes across from the park (Fall).

Vehicle camping around the park is causing major problems. Campers are destroying planting beds and using them as toilets. Report car camping. Contact the JWN to find out how to advocate for sanctioned car camping and to prohibit camping around the park.

Park Updates:
Lighting installation is complete! This project was funding by the 2018 Parks and Recreation Bond and Levy

Bathrooms: The building is currently undergoing a major renovation with a new roof, floor drains, and other upgrades for 2022.  Construction should be completed by the fall. We have porta-potties in the meantime.

Bathroom Mural: What started out as a simple paint job wound up a mural! We have to wait until the remodel work is done first.


Stay tuned for news and announcements

January 2022

Lighting: New lighting is in the process of being installed and should be completed by summer 2022

Bathrooms: Chris Girard, Parks Maintenance Manager, is working with Parks Planning and Facilities on a bathroom renovation plan that will include a new roof design, heated plumbing, floor drains and exterior waterproofing etc. Hopefully, we will see the plans soon. Completion in 2022.

We have permission to submit a design for an exterior mural by Charnel Mulligan Park muralist David Plancante, design in progress.

Sharps Containers have been installed in each bathroom.

Balance/Walking Man Sculpture Leaves Monroe Park

IMPORTANT: The JWN does NOT have a position on the sculpture as the neighborhood was split on it. We did make clear that letting it rot-in-place was not an option and that they needed to either commit to repair and maintain it, or remove it.

Love it, hate it, the Pappas sculpture has been a landmark in Jefferson Westside since its installation in 1989. A crew disassembled it and carted it out to its new home on November 17. An unnamed art aficionado plans to restore and display it on her property near Fern Ridge. The kinetic or floating part of the sculpture was long broken and many of the parts were bent and heavily rusted. Created before modern standards for public art, it proved a maintenance challenge for the city and suffered neglect over years of lean budgets and shifting priorities.

In 2016, city staff contacted the JWN about the status of the sculpture. After several meetings and a survey, the neighborhood was split on its future, but the consensus was the city either needed to repair and maintain it or remove it. The cost and complexity of repairs and upkeep led the Public Art Commission to have it removed. For a wide variety of reasons, has taken five years. A small ceremony has held on October 30, where Public Art Manager Kate Ali gave a brief talk on the sculpture and artist.  You can find more information on the Monroe Public Art page. Stay tuned as we are in line for some new park art.

This from the city: After five years of discussion, the Public Art Committee unanimously voted to have the piece decommissioned once they realized that:

  • there are numerous safety concerns due to the condition of the sculpture,
  • renovation is not cost-effective,
  • any treatment would alter the look of the sculpture,
  • and changing the look of the sculpture invokes the Visual Artists Rights Act, a U.S. law which grants rights to artists to prevent distortion, mutilation, or modification that would prejudice the author’s honor or reputation.

Our final steps in the City are to notify City Council and put out a request for proposals for a new home for the artwork. If you know of anyone who may be interested in the sculpture, please let the city know and they will send you the RFP.

Monroe Park is now considered a priority site for public art when a future opportunity arises. Katherine Ali KAli@eugene-or.gov will send out a call for Selection Committee Members to the Jefferson Westside Neighbors when a budget is identified for artwork for the  Monroe Park.

Sculpture in Monroe Park Background

The recent press over the final stage of the decision on the repair or removal of the Pappas sculpture in Monroe Park has, as expected, drawn a lot of public concern, including charges that the process was not public or transparent.

First, the JWN and Friends of Monroe Park group have not taken a position on the Pappas sculpture. Our only demands have been that the city either take steps to repair and maintain it or to remove it. It cannot just be left to rot.

The JWN would like to emphasize that there has been a robust public outreach effort concerning this issue starting in the spring of 2016 when the Public Arts Commission contacted us about the sculpture’s future. This process included:

  • A presentation and discussion at a JWN monthly meeting (agenda was advertised).
  • Multiple articles in our monthly eNews
  • Extensive coverage on our Friends of Monroe Park page.
  • An article in our Summer 2016 Newsletter delivered to every address in the JWN
  • Postings and stories on the JWN Facebook page
  • Multiple posts on the Monroe Park listserv
  • City posted notices at Monroe Park
  • Multiple notices on JWN sandwich boards positioned at the corner of Monroe and W. Broadway and by the Monroe Park play area.

Your neighborhood association is staffed by volunteers and we can only do so much to inform the residents of the JWN.  We would argue that, in fact, we do quite well in getting the word out on issues of potential concern. However, it is incumbent on neighbors to take responsibility for being aware of neighborhood issues signing up for our eNews,  friending us on the JWN Facebook page, reading our twice-a-year newsletter, watch for our 2-3 postcards a year, and visiting this website.

For more detailed information see the Pappas sculpture coverage at the bottom of this page.


Contact us if you can help.


 


Annual Monroe Park 2020 Spring Mulch-Mania Work Parties!

Monroe Park Volunteers Finish the Year Strong!

With the trimming, weeding, and mulching on W. 10th, our park volunteers have now completely covered the park. It looks great!

Our four work parties, and a rotating and repeating group of over 30 volunteers, put in 320+ hours of volunteer labor, saving the city over $7000 (at the volunteer rate). We removed over 5 truck loads of brush and spread 10 truck loads of mulch!

Thank you volunteers – join us next spring and we will do it again!

First work party after the stay-at-home order was May 31. We have between 25 and 30 volunteers, so about 83 volunteer hours with a value (@$23 NMG rate) of almost $2000! Volunteers supplied our own tools and city brought in the loads of mulch. We weeded, trimmed and mulched Adams, the area around the restrooms, and parks of W. Broadway and W. 10th as well as some other clean-up.


Annual Monroe Park 2019 Spring Mulch-Mania Work Parties!

Over a dozen neighbors pitched in over two different work party dates, weeded and put down mulch. Check out the work on the Monroe St. side!

 

 


2018 JWN Annual Picnic and Potluck a EUG Success!

Despite the heat, more than 150 neighbors showed up to share food, eat pie, and listen to music from Calamity Jazz. Thanks to all our volunteers who made the picnic possible!

JWN with Samba Ja Win Best Listening: Best Use of Sound Award at EUG Parade and Sunday Streets.


Calling all Artists and Performers for Art@Monroe Park

Looking to get your Art on? Join the JWN and Friends of Monroe Park by bringing art and performance to summer evenings at Monroe Park. ArtCity and CALC (Community Alliance of Lane County) are already on board. Create art and community, promote your school, projects, and yourself. Have fun. Help us keep the park clean, green, safe, and full of positive Eugene culture.


Monroe Park Annual Spring Clean-up and Mulch Mania a huge success! 17 neighbors pitch in.

JWN Executive Board member Eric Dil hauls some mulch

Volunteers weed

Ward 1 Councilor Emily Semple dives in


Special Notice on the Pappas


We are the Friends of Monroe Park – Join us!

The FOMP has 52 members, here is a partial list:
Kevin Burns (FOMP Steering Committee)
Ted M. Coopman (JWN Executive Board and FOMP Facilitator)
Eric Dil
Nancy Hafner (FOMP Steering Committee)
Lark
Gretchen Miller
Joe Potter (FOMP Steering Committee)

Monroe Park Text Alert System

To facilitate timely responses to park problems in real-time, such as calling EPD, the FOMP is forming a text tree alert system. Contact jwneugene@gmail.com to get involved.

Past@Monroe Park Updates

[March 7] Pappas Scultpture

The city is moving to decommission the park sculpture (see details on this ongoing process begun in 2016 below)  If you have strong feelings one way or the other make a comment via the survey: Public Comment: “Walking Man” art in Monroe Park Survey

Merry-go-Round  – this feature is under repair and will be back.

Park Lighting – Staff has recently decreased wattage of the LED replacement bulbs and changed the wavelength of light to a warmer softer color.  These two steps have made the replacement bulbs function close to the original sodium vapor bulbs that came with the lights.  This is our best solution until the lighting system is renovated with new fixtures made to direct the light downward and made for LED lamps.

[October 2017] Neighbors Meet with EPD Chief Kerns, Parks, and Councilor Semple on Monroe Park Problems

On going issues such as fighting, noise, drug and alcohol use, smoking, and litter with groups of disorderly evening park users resulted in neighbors calling in city representatives for a meeting last Saturday. Fifteen neighbors joined Chief Kerns, Councilor Semple, Ken Wofford from Parks, and others to discuss options. EPD has been called in multiple times in the past few weeks and Monroe is the #1 EPD hot-spot. The group collectively pledged to take several strategies to mitigate the problems.

Neighbors of Monroe Park are organizing to address problem evening behaviors and to seek short, medium, and long-term solutions. Teams are forming to investigate:

  • Feasibility of a special permit parking district
  • Attracting programed activities such as sports and events
  • Volunteer landscaping projects
  • Trash and neighbor positive presence patrols

Contact us at jwneugene@gmail.com to get involved.

The JWN and FOMP have also formed a working group with EPD, Parks, and Ward 1 Councilor Emily Semple to coordinate action on keeping the park clean, green, and safe.

[July 2017] Parks moved the third trash can to a better location, repaired the huge divots in the play area padding, cut back the height of the street side foliage, edged, and repaired padded play ground surfaces. Combined with the stepped up trash patrols by both parks and volunteers the park looks great.


Help us keep the park safe by reporting any illegal activity (camping, drugs/alcohol use, etc.) or homeless in distress to the Eugene Police Department via the non-emergency # (541) 682-5111 (hit 1-1-1 to skip prompts) [program into your phone]. For homeless in distress they will call CAHOOTS. If people are being aggressive, threatening, or violent call 911.

For park problems including trash, graffiti, vandalism, or needed repairs file a report via Park Watch.

Making reports indicates community engagement and creates data that can be used to advocate for resources.


Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 10.32.35 AMThe JWN is sponsoring the formation of a Friends of Monroe Park group. The goal is to create an active community of park users and neighbors to advocate, protect, and preserve this valuable cultural resource. The group seeks to build relationships with Eugene Parks and Open Space, the Eugene Police Department, and other city agencies to attract resources and attention to the park. We are motivated to act by the many opportunities and challenges for Monroe Park and felt that it was time to take direct action to ensure that the Park is a safe and attractive shared place for ALL respectful users.

Challenges and opportunities include:

  • The debate over the future of the large park sculpture
  • Plans by Parks and Open Space to remodel many city parks – organized groups may be able to get priority and we want assay in what is done
  • The issues of illegal camping, noise, trash and other problematic activities (exacerbated by increased police presence in the Park Blocks pushing problem users into the adjacent neighborhoods)
  • Revisiting bathroom access
  • Consider a reduction of evening park hours (current open until 11 pm) except for events

We envision lots of ways for people to get involved. Contact Ted [ fomp@jwneugene.org ] to become a Friend of Monroe Park!

In the News

Full 30-Year Vision for Parks and Recreation, Capital Project List with Draft Priorities
March 8, 2017

Download pdf: FullProjectList_with_Intro

Check out this article in the January 15, 2017 Register Guard
Eugene residents want parks and recreation upgrades, but city struggles to find money for them:
City staff are looking at revenue options, including possible taxes and fees

Monroe Park (Paul Pappas) Sculpture

Monroe Scullpture color

Read the full City of Eugene Report on the sculpture, its’ history, and the discussion on its’ future. It needs expensive repair work and more regular maintenance: e_monroe_park_pappas_city_rd-1

Public Arts Program Pappas Sculpture Survey and Public Comments

In September 2016 Issac Marquez for Eugene Arts in Pubic Places spoke to the JWN on behalf of the Public Arts Committee (PAC) on the future of the Pappas sculpture in Monroe Park. The JWN facilitated public comments via our eNews and a survey of Jefferson Westside residents. The pubic comments period is now closed.

The city received 12 emailed comments and 51 survey responses.

56% want the sculpture removed due to being ugly/eyesore, that is was dated/bad art, was unsafe /not durable, and the expense of maintaining it. The estimated $15,000 minimum cost of a rehab and the ongoing costs to maintain it should be used for other purposes.

44% would like the sculpture to stay and get repaired because  it is fun/funky,  attractive, historic, is important to our neighborhood character, and were skeptical that repairs would cost as much as estimated.

UPDATE (October 2017)

It appears Parks is moving forward with the process to remove the Pappas sculpture. Stay tuned for information on the final public comment period.

UPDATE (March 9, 2017)

The Public Art Committee voted to “Deaccession the sculpture and explore options to replace the sculpture with art of some form within the park.” After formal notification there will be a 60 day comment window after which the PAC will review responses from the artist and/or public and re-evaluate their original recommendation for deaccession. 

Parks and Public Art are exploring possible funding sources for new art at Monroe Park.

Since residents of the JWN have the closest relationship and knowledge of the artist, if the sculpture is indeed deaccessioned, the PAC would like to work with anyone interested to make plans for the “after-life” of the artwork. Parks and Public Art feels this is the best opportunity to respectfully manage the artist’s work without being able to work with him directly.

Stay tuned here for more information on the process, public meetings, and assisting in the deciding the the ultimate of the sculpture.