Riverfront Park Plaza

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Public engagement on this project has ended. Project updates will continue to be posted to this page.

Plaza design was completed in Summer 2023. Construction is expected to begin in Summer of 2024 with the plaza opening in Summer 2025. When the riverfront property is fully developed, the one-acre park plaza will be nestled between multi-family housing buildings and a restaurant.

Plaza design was completed in Summer 2023. Construction is expected to begin in Summer of 2024 with the plaza opening in Summer 2025. When the riverfront property is fully developed, the one-acre park plaza will be nestled between multi-family housing buildings and a restaurant.

Tell Your Millrace Story!

An interpretive art piece based on Millrace history is being created for the future Downtown Riverfront Plaza. It will tell stories about time spent in, on, or along the Millrace and other waterways in Eugene.

The Millrace was a stream originally dug as a water engine to power early industry such as saw and flour mills. It later became a popular recreation spot for canoeing and ice skating. The Millrace currently outfalls back into the Willamette River through large pipes running beneath the new Riverfront Park.

The interpretive art piece will feature embedded and engraved or bronze text. Reflecting a variety of different voices and languages, the words will be typeset expressively into patterns or ripples in or around the plaza water feature. This text will weave together quotations from newspaper clippings, songs, poetry and, ideally, your words too.

Do you have memories or experiences from the Millrace or other waterways in Eugene that you’d like to share? Your words will be a valuable addition to our collective histories within the new piece!

Thank you for sharing your story with us.
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

  • Share Wildlife in the Millrace on Facebook Share Wildlife in the Millrace on Twitter Share Wildlife in the Millrace on Linkedin Email Wildlife in the Millrace link

    Wildlife in the Millrace

    over 1 year ago

    Bringing my natural and cultural history of Oregon class to the millrace and seeing a pair of Peregrine falcons near where it goes.

    Watching a racoon on the millrace and nearly being late to a women's basketball game.

    I used the millrace for most classes I taught. One year in field biology we found sculpins and stickleback fish in it.

    - Bitty Roy, submitted by postcard

  • Share Highlight indigenous stories on Facebook Share Highlight indigenous stories on Twitter Share Highlight indigenous stories on Linkedin Email Highlight indigenous stories link

    Highlight indigenous stories

    over 1 year ago

    Please do all you can to include Indigenous stories of the area. Work to bring Talking Stones to this park if the Kalapuya approve. In addition to benches, have tables and chairs so you can sit across from someone not just next to them. Should be moveable.

    - Submitted by postcard

  • Share Highlight Wildlife on Facebook Share Highlight Wildlife on Twitter Share Highlight Wildlife on Linkedin Email Highlight Wildlife link

    Highlight Wildlife

    over 1 year ago

    I'd like to see artwork depicting the native salmon and eels worked into the water feature. Could also add something to acknowledge the native birds.

    - Submitted by postcard

  • Share Interaction with the water feature on Facebook Share Interaction with the water feature on Twitter Share Interaction with the water feature on Linkedin Email Interaction with the water feature link

    Interaction with the water feature

    over 1 year ago

    I like the idea of multiple places to interact with the water feature. Just as the character of a river changes as it flows from the mountains, I'd like to see the character of the feature change from shallow pools you can walk through to a deeper feature with stones to sit on and finally the splash feature near the play area.

    -Submitted by postcard

  • Share Have other curious kids scared their parents when they discovered the Millrace? on Facebook Share Have other curious kids scared their parents when they discovered the Millrace? on Twitter Share Have other curious kids scared their parents when they discovered the Millrace? on Linkedin Email Have other curious kids scared their parents when they discovered the Millrace? link

    Have other curious kids scared their parents when they discovered the Millrace?

    by Suzanne, almost 2 years ago

    I gave my mother a scare when at age four I took myself down to the Millrace--we were renting a house half a block away and I disappeared. She went looking, frantically,. When she found me sitting on the edge with my toes in the water, I was very impressed by her fright. Later on I went with my family to see the floats go down the Millrace, and that was lovely.

  • Share Grandpa and Lady-dog on Facebook Share Grandpa and Lady-dog on Twitter Share Grandpa and Lady-dog on Linkedin Email Grandpa and Lady-dog link

    Grandpa and Lady-dog

    by LPotterf, almost 2 years ago
    In early 1970's (50 years ago) my grandpa used to bring me to the millrace to play ball with his dog, Lady. It is a memory I'll never forget. It was so much fun to hop in the truck, with Lady in the back & go play ball in the water. My grandpa (Charlie Potterf) was a life-long active member of the community and started a business in the 1930's (Eugene Radiator). Those were the days..... and fond memories of the Millrace.
  • Share Water is life on Facebook Share Water is life on Twitter Share Water is life on Linkedin Email Water is life link

    Water is life

    by Canoeing, almost 2 years ago
    Eugene is lucky to have large rivers descending through town with crystal clear water. With such aquatic abundance the locals over the years have found ways to utilize and enjoy the rivers. Native Americans commuted along the water and lived in harmony with the riparian bounty. Take a look at the mural under I-5 along the Canoe Canal to get a feel for their verve.


    Along came settlers who diverted the river for the sake of industry. The Millrace was likely a large contributor to the boom town times of Eugene. Processing the resources with such efficiency made it possible... Continue reading

  • Share Diesel Spill and Goose Rescue Mission on Facebook Share Diesel Spill and Goose Rescue Mission on Twitter Share Diesel Spill and Goose Rescue Mission on Linkedin Email Diesel Spill and Goose Rescue Mission link

    Diesel Spill and Goose Rescue Mission

    by Bill C., almost 2 years ago
    In the late 1970s I was a member of a student group affiliated with the UO Survival Center. We were there one day when we learned there had been a diesel spill into the Millrace, and volunteers were needed to rescue as many ducks and geese as possible. We quickly found ourselves in a flurry of activity in the backyard area behind the Greek houses along East 11th, where residents of those houses and other volunteers were bringing in oiled waterfowl to be washed and rinsed and taken out to Green Hill for additional care. We learned that Dawn works... Continue reading
  • Share Canoeing the Millrace for college credit. on Facebook Share Canoeing the Millrace for college credit. on Twitter Share Canoeing the Millrace for college credit. on Linkedin Email Canoeing the Millrace for college credit. link

    Canoeing the Millrace for college credit.

    by Bill C., almost 2 years ago
    When I was a student at UO in the mid-1970s, there was still a PE (physical education) requirement, and one of the course offerings I enjoyed most was canoeing on the Millrace. I can still remember having to crouch way down in order to get through the long, dark culvert under Franklin Boulevard, which carried us into the portion of the Millrace that ran behind the Greek houses along East 11th Ave. The upstream portion was much wilder and somewhat overgrown. If you ever fell out of your canoe, you discovered that the bottom of the Millrace was at least... Continue reading
  • Share Field trip to the Millrace on Facebook Share Field trip to the Millrace on Twitter Share Field trip to the Millrace on Linkedin Email Field trip to the Millrace link

    Field trip to the Millrace

    by Sadiemay, almost 2 years ago

    I attended McCornack Elementary during the 70's and I remember taking a field trip to the Millrace. There were canoes for us to get in and paddle around in and I will always remember going under the bridge thru archway like tunnels. It was my favorite field trip out of all of the field trips I went on over the years.

    Michelle Philibert-Jeffers