Suzanne Arlie Park

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Suzanne Arlie Park is the largest park in Eugene's system, consisting of 515 acres in southeast Eugene. The master plan has been completed and includes a network of interconnected trails for nature-based recreation, disc golf, programmed group-camping, a mountain bike skills park, and habitat conservation and restoration efforts which are already underway. The first phase of park development is bond funded and will include habitat enhancements, an extension of the Ridgeline trail and mountain bike trails. Construction is expected in 2022.

Suzanne Arlie Park is the largest park in Eugene's system, consisting of 515 acres in southeast Eugene. The master plan has been completed and includes a network of interconnected trails for nature-based recreation, disc golf, programmed group-camping, a mountain bike skills park, and habitat conservation and restoration efforts which are already underway. The first phase of park development is bond funded and will include habitat enhancements, an extension of the Ridgeline trail and mountain bike trails. Construction is expected in 2022.


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    Why are the mountain bike trails confined to such a limited area and small elevation profile rather than from the top of the hills such as split rock baldy and baldy's shoulder?

    Bicyclstarepeopletoo Asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The mountain bike infrastructure, as well as other recreational facilities, are sited in the north-central section of the park, which has been most impacted in the past due to logging and other human uses, thus preserving the highest value habitat for native plants and wildlife. By concentrating these facilities together, large areas of the site will experience low to moderate frequency of recreational use, similar to other Ridgeline parks that host the Ridgeline Trail. The mountain bike trails were aligned with the goal of giving mountain bikers the best experience possible while balancing other recreational and ecological goals. There is a mountain bike trail proposed connecting Mount Baldy to Suzanne Arlie Park, as well as one from Split Rock Hill. Additionally, all shared-use trails and gravel roads will be open to mountain bikes. The total miles of proposed trail that will be open to mountain bikes at Suzanne Arlie Park is currently 11.4.
     


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    Will the park Susanna Arlie park be ADA friendly. Can senior citizens walk safely?

    michael97405 Asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The master plan for Suzanne Arlie Park includes approximately 2 miles of “barrier free” walking trails. This trail type has an average grade of 5% or less with a maximum grade of 8%. They are built with highly compacted gravel to accommodate wheeled mobility devices. These trails should be accessible to most seniors, including those using mobility assistance. For the spry senior, the Ridgeline Trail is also an option, as are the graveled roads that cross the site. We hope to build this park in a way that is both accessible and stimulating for the widest range of user groups.


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    What exactly is being done to conserve space for wildlife, wetlands, and native plants? I am concerned the creation of the park will not provide enough habitat for native species.

    Fioretti Asked 8 months ago

    We appreciate and share your concern for habitat and native species, therefore protecting this important aspect of the park system is one of the express goals of the master plan. The first steps of habitat preservation, restoration, and management are already under way. Ecologists working on our ecological services team along with highly credentialed local ecologists have been conducting rare plant surveys and mapping native species in the park for several years. They have also worked to improve native vegetation cover and the habitat structure of several important habitat types, including: oak savanna, oak woodland, upland prairie and wet prairie. This work has been carried out by removing dense thickets of invasive shrub and tree species such as blackberry, single-seed hawthorn, pear and cherry from approximately half of the park. In addition, Douglas-fir trees were removed in localized areas where they were encroaching on legacy Oregon white oak and California black oak trees. An ecological controlled burn last year helped stimulate the growth of native wildflowers while also keeping invading woody vegetation and introduced grasses in check. There is a long-range plan in place to continue to enhance the existing high-value habitat in the park, outlined in the master plan.

    In addition to all of the targeted efforts to improve habitat, the master plan sites the high-density recreational facilities in the north-central section of the site, which has been most impacted in the past due to logging and other human uses, thus preserving the highest value habitat for native plants and wildlife. By concentrating these facilities together, large areas of the site will experience low to moderate frequency of recreational use, similar to other Ridgeline parks that host the Ridgeline Trail.


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    Hi! My name is Spencer Ewing, Professional Downhill racer, freerider, and core member of the local MTB community. I would love to see some high-quality mountain bike trails come out of this project. Eugene is in need of a closer (and better) legalized trail system. Rogue (illegal) trails have been built all over this area around LCC, however, their minimalist, unsanctioned nature makes them hazardous, destructive and exclusive. It's time we put eugene on the map with a handful of WELL BUILT and ADVANCED trails that will bring in new riders, challenge experts, benefit local economy, increase public transit usage and tourism, without burning fuel or driving hours as a requirement. We have a strong local mtb community to supply volunteer hours and a dedicated team of professional riders able to plan, design, build, and test all trails and features. The benefits of this zone would be immense! Thank you for your consideration.

    Spencer Ewing Asked 9 months ago

    We appreciate your enthusiasm Spencer! We heard from many that high quality mountain biking infrastructure is a priority, which is why the current plan for Suzanne Arlie includes approximately 4.4 miles of mountain bike optimized trails, 4.8 miles of shared use trails and 2.2 miles of gravel access road open to bikes, for a total of 11.4 trail miles for mountain biking. This is in addition to a 50-acre mountain bike skills park which will include stacked loop trails and skills features. We hope to see you at the public meeting on December 9th!


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    I didn't see any mention of horse access on the master plan diagram. Is there any thought of allowing horseback riding in the park? I live in Pleasant Hill, but own property in Eugene. Thanks.

    Simrat Asked 9 months ago

    Good question. A small but very engaged group of equestrian advocates attended all our previous workshops, participated in all our surveys, and provided us a list of minimum requirements and amenities.  We discussed this issue at length with parks staff and management and for a number of reasons decided not to include equestrian facilities at this time, although we have left open a window for future potential inclusion. Reasons included current city regulations not allowing horses in parks, the relatively limited size of the site for a functional equestrian trail system, and that in our survey trails for horseback riders received the lowest overall score for desired facilities which is reflective of the urban population that the City primarily serves and which funds acquisition and development of park facilities.

    However the Master Plan does include the following language regarding equestrian access under Goal 1: Recreational Trails, Objective 1b (see page 43)

    Action: Continue to evaluate options for limited future equestrian access to the park on designated park roads. Equestrian facilities such as hitching rails, loading ramps, and trailer parking are not currently proposed for the park, so users would originate from neighboring properties if permitted.


    We understand this will be a disappointment to our equestrian friends, but the plan language will allow for future access if or when conditions warrant.


    Thank you for your question!