Eugene, Oregon facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Eugene, Oregon
City
City of Eugene
Clockwise: Downtown Eugene from Skinner Butte, Lane County Farmers' Market, Hiking on Spencer Butte, University of Oregon Autzen Stadium, Delta Ponds pedestrian bridge
Clockwise: Downtown Eugene from Skinner Butte, Lane County Farmers' Market, Hiking on Spencer Butte, University of Oregon Autzen Stadium, Delta Ponds pedestrian bridge
Official seal of Eugene, Oregon
Seal
Nickname(s): Emerald Valley, The Emerald City, Track Town
Motto: A Great City for the Arts and Outdoors
Lane County Oregon Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Eugene Highlighted.svg
Country United States
State Oregon
County Lane
Founded 1846
Incorporated October 17, 1862
Area
 • City 43.74 sq mi (113.29 km2)
 • Land 43.72 sq mi (113.23 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
Elevation 430 ft (131.1 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 156,185
 • Estimate (2015) 163,460
 • Rank US: 155th
 • Density 3,572.4/sq mi (1,379.3/km2)
 • Urban 247,421 (US: 151st)
 • Metro 362,895 (US: 146th)
Demonym(s) Eugenian
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 97401–97405, 97408, 97440
Area code(s) 458 and 541
FIPS code 41-23850
GNIS feature ID 1120527
Website www.eugene-or.gov

Eugene (/juːˈn/ ew-JEEN) is a city of the Pacific Northwest located in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is located at the southern end of the Willamette Valley, near the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers, about 50 miles (80 km) east of the Oregon Coast.

As of the 2010 census, Eugene had a population of 156,185; it is the second most populous city in the state (after Portland) and the county seat of Lane County. The Eugene-Springfield, Oregon metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is the 146th largest metropolitan statistical area in the US and the third-largest in the state, behind the Portland Metropolitan Area and the Salem Metropolitan Area. The city's population for 2014 was estimated to be 160,561 by the US Census.

Eugene is home to the University of Oregon and Lane Community College. The city is also noted for its natural beauty, recreational opportunities (especially bicycling, running/jogging, rafting, and kayaking), and focus on the arts. Eugene's official slogan is "A Great City for the Arts and Outdoors". It is also referred to as the "Emerald City" and as "Track Town, USA". The Nike corporation had its beginnings in Eugene. In 2021, the city will host the 18th Track and Field World Championships.

History

Eugene Willamette Street
Willamette Street c. 1920

Eugene is named after its founder, Eugene Franklin Skinner. Until 1889, it was named Eugene City. In 1846, Skinner erected the first cabin in the area. It was used as a trading post and was registered as an official post office on January 8, 1850. At this time the settlement was known as Skinner's Mudhole. It was relocated in 1853 and named Eugene City, but was not formally incorporated as a city until 1862. Skinner later ran a ferry service across the Willamette River where the Ferry Street Bridge now stands.

The first major educational institution in the area was Columbia College, founded a few years earlier than the University of Oregon. It fell victim to two major fires in four years, and after the second fire, the college decided not to rebuild again. The part of south Eugene known as College Hill was the former location of Columbia College. There is no college there today.

The town raised the initial funding to start a public university, which later became the University of Oregon, with the hope of turning the small town into a center of learning. In 1872, the Legislative Assembly passed a bill creating the University of Oregon as a state institution. Eugene bested the nearby town of Albany in the competition for the state university. In 1873, community member J.H.D. Henderson donated the hilltop land for the campus, overlooking the city.

The university first opened in 1876 with the regents electing the first faculty and naming John Wesley Johnson as president. The first students registered on October 16, 1876. The first building was completed in 1877; it was named Deady Hall in honor of the first Board of Regents President and community leader Judge Matthew P. Deady.

The city's name was shortened from Eugene City to Eugene in 1889.

Eugene grew rapidly throughout most of the twentieth century, with the exception being the early 1980s when a downturn in the timber industry caused high unemployment. By 1985, the industry had recovered and Eugene began to attract more high-tech industries.

Geography and climate

Geography

Eugene skyline crop
Spencer Butte can be seen from much of the city.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 43.74 square miles (113.29 km2), of which 43.72 square miles (113.23 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water. Eugene is located at an elevation of 426 feet (130 m).

To the north of downtown is Skinner Butte. Northeast of the city are the Coburg Hills. Spencer Butte is a prominent landmark south of the city. Mount Pisgah is southeast of Eugene and includes Mount Pisgah Arboretum and Howard Buford Recreation Area, a Lane County Park. Eugene is surrounded by foothills and forests to the south, east, and west, while to the north the land levels out into the Willamette Valley and consists of mostly farmland.

The Willamette and McKenzie Rivers run through Eugene and its neighboring city, Springfield. Another important stream is Amazon Creek, whose headwaters are near Spencer Butte. The creek discharges west of the city into Fern Ridge Reservoir, maintained for winter flood control by the Army Corps of Engineers. Eugene Yacht Club hosts a sail school and sailing regattas at Fern Ridge during summer months.

Neighborhoods

Eugene has 23 neighborhood associations:

  • Amazon
  • Bethel
  • Cal Young
  • Churchill
  • Crest Drive
  • Downtown
  • Fairmount
  • Far West

Climate

Weather chart for Eugene
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
6.9
 
47
35
 
 
5.4
 
51
35
 
 
5
 
56
37
 
 
3.3
 
61
40
 
 
2.7
 
67
44
 
 
1.5
 
73
48
 
 
0.6
 
82
52
 
 
0.6
 
83
51
 
 
1.3
 
77
47
 
 
3.3
 
64
42
 
 
7.7
 
52
38
 
 
7.8
 
46
34
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches

Like the rest of the Willamette Valley, Eugene lies in the Marine West Coast climate zone, with Mediterranean characteristics. Under the Köppen climate classification scheme, Eugene has a cool-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb). Temperatures can vary from cool to warm, with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Spring and fall are also moist seasons, with light rain falling for long periods. Winter snowfall does occur, but it is sporadic and rarely accumulates in large amounts: the average seasonal amount is 5 inches (12.7 cm), and the median is 0. The record snowfall was 3 feet (91 cm) deep due to a pineapple express in late January 1969. The record snowfall for March was 8 inches (20 cm) deep in 2012.

The hottest months are July and August, with average highs of around 82 °F (28 °C), with an average of 15 days per year above 90 °F (32.2 °C). The coolest month is December, with the average daytime high in the mid-40s°F (7–8 °C), and nights averaging just above freezing. There are 54 nights per year with a low below freezing, and about three days with highs not exceeding freezing. The record high low was 73 °F (23 °C) in 2006.

Snow in Eugene
The result of rare heavy snow in January 2008

Eugene's average annual temperature is 52.1 °F (11.2 °C), and annual precipitation at 50.9 inches (1,290 mm). Eugene is slightly cooler on average than Portland. Despite being located about 100 miles (160 km) south and having only a slightly higher elevation, Eugene has a more continental climate, less subject to the maritime air that blows inland from the Pacific Ocean via the Columbia River. Eugene's average August low is 50.8 °F (10.4 °C), while Portland's average August low is 56.5 °F (13.6 °C). Average winter temperatures (and summer high temperatures) are similar for the two cities. This disparity may be additionally caused by Portland's urban heat island, where the combination of black pavement and urban energy use raises nighttime temperatures.

Extreme temperatures range from −12 °F (−24 °C), recorded on December 8, 1972, to 108 °F (42 °C) on August 9, 1981.

Climate data for Eugene, Oregon (Eugene Airport), 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 69
(20.6)
78
(25.6)
80
(26.7)
89
(31.7)
95
(35)
102
(38.9)
106
(41.1)
108
(42.2)
103
(39.4)
94
(34.4)
76
(24.4)
68
(20)
108
(42.2)
Average high °F (°C) 47.2
(8.44)
51.1
(10.61)
56.2
(13.44)
60.8
(16)
67.0
(19.44)
73.2
(22.89)
82.2
(27.89)
82.8
(28.22)
76.9
(24.94)
64.2
(17.89)
52.2
(11.22)
45.6
(7.56)
63.3
(17.39)
Average low °F (°C) 34.5
(1.39)
35.1
(1.72)
37.4
(3)
39.8
(4.33)
43.8
(6.56)
47.9
(8.83)
51.7
(10.94)
51.4
(10.78)
47.3
(8.5)
41.5
(5.28)
37.9
(3.28)
34.1
(1.17)
41.9
(5.5)
Record low °F (°C) −4
(-20)
−3
(-19.4)
18
(-7.8)
25
(-3.9)
28
(-2.2)
32
(0)
39
(3.9)
35
(1.7)
30
(-1.1)
17
(-8.3)
12
(-11.1)
−12
(-24.4)
−12
(-24.4)
Precipitation inches (mm) 6.89
(175)
5.43
(137.9)
4.99
(126.7)
3.33
(84.6)
2.73
(69.3)
1.50
(38.1)
0.55
(14)
0.61
(15.5)
1.29
(32.8)
3.25
(82.6)
7.72
(196.1)
7.83
(198.9)
46.12
(1,171.4)
Snowfall inches (cm) 0.5
(1.3)
1.4
(3.6)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.1
(0.3)
0.8
(2)
2.8
(7.1)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 17.8 14.9 17.7 14.5 11.7 7.9 3.1 3.2 5.4 11.4 17.9 17.9 143.4
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 0.4 0.7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 0.5 1.7
Source: NOAA Weather.com (extremes)

Air quality and allergies

Eugene is downwind of Willamette Valley grass seed farms. The combination of summer grass pollen and the confining shape of the hills around Eugene make it "the area of the highest grass pollen counts in the USA (>1,500 pollen grains/m3 of air)." These high pollen counts have led to difficulties for some track athletes who compete in Eugene. In the Olympic trials in 1972, "Jim Ryun won the 1,500 after being flown in by helicopter because he was allergic to Eugene's grass seed pollen." Further, six-time Olympian Maria Mutola abandoned Eugene as a training area "in part to avoid allergies".

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,183
1870 861 −27.2%
1880 1,117 29.7%
1900 3,236
1910 9,009 178.4%
1920 10,593 17.6%
1930 18,901 78.4%
1940 20,838 10.2%
1950 35,879 72.2%
1960 50,977 42.1%
1970 79,028 55.0%
1980 105,664 33.7%
1990 112,669 6.6%
2000 137,893 22.4%
2010 156,185 13.3%
Est. 2015 163,460 4.7%
Sources:

2010 census

According to the 2010 census, Eugene's population was 156,185. The population density was 3,572.2 people per square mile. There were 69,951 housing units at an average density of 1,600 per square mile. Those age 18 and over accounted for 81.8% of the total population.

The racial makeup of the city was 85.8% White, 4.0% Asian, 1.4% Black or African American, 1.0% Native American, 0.2% Pacific Islander, and 4.7% from other races.

Hispanics and Latinos of any race accounted for 7.8% of the total population. Of the non-Hispanics, 82% were White, 1.3% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American, 4% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.2% some other race alone, and 3.4% were of two or more races.

Females represented 51.1% of the total population, and males represented 48.9%. The median age in the city was 33.8 years.

2000 census

The census of 2000 showed that there were 137,893 people, 58,110 households, and 31,321 families residing in the city of Eugene. The population density was 3,404.8 people per square mile (1,314.5/km²). There were 61,444 housing units at an average density of 1,516.4 per square mile (585.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.15% White, down from 99.5% in 1950, 3.57% Asian, 1.25% Black or African American, 0.93% Native American, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 2.18% from other races, and 3.72% from two or more races. 4.96% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 58,110 households, of which 25.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.1% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.87. In the city, the population was 20.3% under the age of 18, 17.3% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.0 males. The median income for a household in the city was $35,850, and the median income for a family was $48,527. Males had a median income of $35,549 versus $26,721 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,315. About 8.7% of families and 17.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.8% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.

Religion

Religious institutions of higher learning in Eugene include Northwest Christian University and New Hope Christian College. Northwest Christian University (formerly Northwest Christian College), founded in 1895, has ties with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). New Hope Christian College (formerly Eugene Bible College) originated with the Bible Standard Conference in 1915, which joined with Open Bible Evangelistic Association to create Open Bible Standard Churches in 1932. Eugene Bible College was started from this movement by Fred Hornshuh in 1925.

There are two Eastern Orthodox Church parishes in Eugene: St John the Wonderworker Orthodox Christian Church in the Historic Whiteaker Neighborhood and Saint George Greek Orthodox Church.

There are six Roman Catholic parishes in Eugene as well: St. Mary Catholic Church, St. Jude Catholic Church, St. Mark Catholic Church, St. Peter Catholic Church, St. Paul Catholic Church, and St. Thomas More Catholic Church.

Eugene also has a Ukrainian Catholic Church named Nativity of the Mother of God.

There is a mainline Protestant contingency in the city as well—such as the largest of the Lutheran Churches, Central Lutheran near the U of O Campus and the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection.

The Eugene area has a sizeable LDS Church presence, with three stakes, consisting of 23 congregations (wards and branches). The Portland Oregon Temple is the nearest temple.

The greater Eugene-Springfield area also has a Jehovah's Witnesses presence with five Kingdom Halls, several having multiple congregations in one Kingdom Hall.

The Reconstructionist Temple Beth Israel is Eugene's largest Jewish congregation. It was also, for many decades, Eugene's only synagogue, until Orthodox members broke away in 1992 and formed "Congregation Ahavas Torah".

Eugene has a community of some 140 Sikhs, who have established a Sikh temple.

The 340-member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene (UUCE) purchased the former Eugene Scottish Rite Temple in May 2010, renovated it, and began services there in September 2012.

Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Temple in Eugene opened in 2012 in the former site of the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Politics

About 82% of Eugene residents are eligible voters. Of those registered to vote, about 43% are registered Democrat, 25% Republican, 25% non-affiliated, with about 7% registered to third parties.

Environmental Activism

In January 2006, the FBI conducted Operation Backfire, leading to federal indictment of eleven people, all members of a Eugene-based cell of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). Operation Backfire was the largest investigation into radical underground environmental groups in United States history. Ongoing trials of accused eco-terrorists kept Eugene in the spotlight for a few years.

Anarchism

Eugene Anarchists
Anarchists at an Occupy Eugene event in November, 2011

Some Eugene anarchists gained international notoriety in 1999 for their perceived role in the violent protests at the WTO Conference in Seattle. Eugene resident John Zerzan, an editor of the Green Anarchy magazine, has been associated with the growth of the green anarchist movement and with the philosophy behind black bloc tactics of the Seattle riots. During a Reclaim the Streets event in 1999, some protesters blocked downtown streets and smashed the windows of three stores and threw stones and bottles at police. Following those protests, then-mayor Jim Torrey described the city as "the anarchist capital of the United States."

Arts and culture

Eugene Saturday Market craft booth
A vendor's craft booth at the Eugene Saturday Market

Eugene has a significant population of people in pursuit of alternative ideas and a large original hippie population. Beginning in the 1960s, the countercultural ideas and viewpoints espoused by Ken Kesey became established as the seminal elements of the vibrant social tapestry that continue to define Eugene. The Merry Prankster, as Kesey was known, has arguably left the most indelible imprint of any cultural icon in his hometown. He is best known as the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and as the male protagonist in Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

In 2005, the city council unanimously approved a new slogan for the city: "World's Greatest City for the Arts & Outdoors". While Eugene has a vibrant arts community for a city its size, and is well situated near many outdoor opportunities, this slogan was frequently criticized by locals as embarrassing and ludicrous. In early 2010, the slogan was changed to "A Great City for the Arts & Outdoors."

Eugene's Saturday Market, open every Saturday from April through November, was founded in 1970 as the first "Saturday Market" in the United States. It is adjacent to the Lane County Farmer's Market in downtown Eugene. All vendors must create or grow all their own products. The market reappears as the "Holiday Market" between Thanksgiving and New Year's in the Lane County Events Center at the fairgrounds.

Community

Eugene is noted for its "community inventiveness." Many U.S. trends in community development originated in Eugene. The University of Oregon's participatory planning process, known as The Oregon Experiment, was the result of student protests in the early 1970s. The book of the same name is a major document in modern enlightenment thinking in planning and architectural circles. The process, still used by the university in modified form, was created by Christopher Alexander, whose works also directly inspired the creation of the Wiki. Some research for the book A Pattern Language, which inspired the Design Patterns movement and Extreme Programming, was done by Alexander in Eugene. Not coincidentally, those engineering movements also had origins here. Decades after its publication, A Pattern Language is still one of the best-selling books on urban design.

In the 1970s, Eugene was packed with cooperative and community projects. It still has small natural food stores in many neighborhoods, some of the oldest student cooperatives in the country, and alternative schools have been part of the school district since 1971. The old Grower's Market, downtown near the Amtrak depot, is the only food cooperative in the U.S. with no employees. It is possible to see Eugene's trend-setting non-profit tendencies in much newer projects, such as the Tango Center and the Center for Appropriate Transport. In 2006, an initiative began to create a tenant-run development process for downtown Eugene.

In the fall of 2003, neighbors noticed that "an unassuming two-acre remnant orchard tucked into the Friendly Area Neighborhood" had been put up for sale by its owner, a resident of New York City. Learning that a prospective buyer had plans to build several houses on the property, they formed a nonprofit organization called Madison Meadow in June 2004 in order to buy the property and "preserve it as undeveloped space in perpetuity." In 2007 their effort was named Third Best Community Effort by the Eugene Weekly, and by the end of 2008 they had raised enough money to purchase the property.

The City of Eugene has an active Neighborhood Program. Several neighborhoods are known for their green activism. Friendly Neighborhood has a highly popular neighborhood garden established on the right of way of a street never built. There are a number of community gardens on public property. Amazon Neighborhood has a former church turned into a community center. Whiteaker hosts a housing co-op that dates from the early 1970s that has re-purposed both their parking lots into food production and play space. An unusual eco-village with natural building techniques and large shared garden can be found in Jefferson Westside neighborhood. A several block area in the River Road Neighborhood is known as a permaculture hotspot with an increasing number of suburban homes trading grass for garden, installing rain water catchment systems, food producing landscapes and solar retrofits. Several sites have planted gardens by removing driveways. A 65-tree filbert grove on public property is being restored by citizen volunteers in cooperation with the city of Eugene. There are deepening social and economic networks in the neighborhood.

Annual cultural events

  • Asian Celebration, presented by the Asian Council of Eugene and Springfield, takes place in February at the Lane County Fairgrounds.
  • The KLCC Microbrew Festival is held in February at the Lane County Fairgrounds. It provides participants with an introduction to a large range of microbrewery and craft beers, which play an important role in Pacific Northwest culture and the economy.
  • Mount Pisgah Arboretum, which resides at the base of Mount Pisgah, holds a Wildflower Festival in May and a Mushroom Festival and Plant Sale in October.
  • Oregon Festival of American Music, or OFAM is held annually in the early summer.
  • Art and the Vineyard festival, held around the Fourth of July at Alton Baker Park, is the principal fundraiser for the Maude Kerns Art Center.
  • The Oregon Bach Festival is a major international festival in July, hosted by the University of Oregon.
  • The nonprofit Oregon Country Fair takes place in July in nearby Veneta.
  • The Lane County Fair occurs in July at the Lane County Fairgrounds.
  • The Eugene/Springfield Pride Festival is held annually on the second Saturday in August from noon to 7:00 p.m. at Alton Baker Park. A part of Eugene LGBT culture since 1993, it provides a lighthearted and supportive social venue for the LGBT community, families, and friends.
  • Eugene Celebration is a three-day block party that usually takes place in the downtown area in August or September. The SLUG Queen coronation in August, a pageant with a campy spin, crowns a new SLUG Queen who "rains" over the Eugene Celebration Parade and is an unofficial ambassador of Eugene.

Museums

HultCenterPerformingArts
The Hult Center for the Performing Arts

Eugene museums include the University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and Museum of Natural and Cultural History, the Oregon Air and Space Museum, Conger Street Clock Museum, Lane County Historical Museum, Maude Kerns Art Center, Shelton McMurphey Johnson House, and the Science Factory Children's Museum & Planetarium.

Performing arts

Eugene is home to numerous cultural organizations, including the Eugene Symphony, the Eugene Ballet, the Eugene Opera, the Eugene Concert Choir, the Northwest Christian University Community Choir, the Oregon Mozart Players, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Oregon Children's Choir, the Eugene Youth Symphony, Ballet Fantastique and Oregon Festival of American Music. Principal performing arts venues include the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts ("The Shedd"), Matthew Knight Arena, Beall Concert Hall and the Erb Memorial Union ballroom on the University of Oregon campus, the McDonald Theatre, and W.O.W. Hall.

A number of live theater groups are based in Eugene, including Free Shakespeare in the Park, Oregon Contemporary Theatre, The Very Little Theatre, Actors Cabaret, LCC Theatre, and University Theatre. Each has its own performance venue.

Music

Because of its status as a college town, Eugene has been home to many music genres, musicians and bands, ranging from electronic dance music such as dubstep and drum and bass to garage rock, hip hop, folk and heavy metal. Eugene also has a growing reggae and street-performing bluegrass and jug band scene. Multi-genre act the Cherry Poppin' Daddies became a prominent figure in Eugene's music scene and became the house band at Eugene's W.O.W. Hall. In the late 1990s, their contributions to the swing revival movement propelled them to national stardom. Rock band Floater originated in Eugene as did the Robert Cray blues band. Doom metal band YOB is among the leaders of the Eugene heavy music scene.

Eugene is home to "Classical Gas" Composer and two-time Grammy award winner Mason Williams who spent his years as a youth living between his parents in Oakridge, Oregon and Oklahoma. Mason Williams puts on a yearly Christmas show at the Hult center for performing arts with a full orchestra produced by author, audio engineer and University of Oregon professor Don Latarski.

Dick Hyman, noted jazz pianist and musical director for many of Woody Allen's films, designs and hosts the annual Now Hear This! jazz festival at the Oregon Festival of American Music (OFAM). OFAM and the Hult Center routinely draw major jazz talent for concerts.

Eugene is also home to a large Zimbabwean music community. Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center, which is "dedicated to the music and people of Zimbabwe," is based in Eugene.

Visual arts

Eugene's visual arts community is supported by over 20 private art galleries and several organizations, including Maude Kerns Art Center, Lane Arts Council, DIVA (the Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts), the Hult Center's Jacobs Gallery, and the Eugene Glass School.

Annual visual arts events include the Mayor's Art Show and Art and the Vineyard.

In 2015, installations from a group of Eugene-based artists known as Light At Play were showcased in several events around the world as part of the International Year of Light, including displays at the Smithsonian and the National Academy of Sciences.

Film

The Eugene area has been used as a filming location for several Hollywood films, most famously for 1978's National Lampoon's Animal House, which was also filmed in nearby Cottage Grove. John Belushi had the idea for the film The Blues Brothers during filming of Animal House when he happened to meet Curtis Salgado at what was then the Eugene Hotel.

Getting Straight, starring Elliott Gould and Candice Bergen, was filmed at Lane Community College in 1969. As the campus was still under construction at the time, the "occupation scenes" were easier to shoot.

The "Chicken Salad on Toast" scene in the 1970 Jack Nicholson movie Five Easy Pieces was filmed at the Denny's restaurant at the southern I-5 freeway interchange near Glenwood. Nicholson directed the 1971 film Drive, He Said in Eugene.

How to Beat the High Co$t of Living, starring Jane Curtin, Jessica Lange and Susan St. James, was filmed in Eugene in the fall of 1979. Locations visible in the film include Valley River Center (which is a driving force in the plot), Skinner Butte and Ya-Po-Ah Terrace, the Willamette River and River Road Hardware.

Several track and field movies have used Eugene as a setting and/or a filming location. Personal Best, starring Mariel Hemingway, was filmed in Eugene in 1982. The film centered on a group of women who are trying to qualify for the Olympic track and field team. Two track and field movies about the life of Steve Prefontaine, Prefontaine and Without Limits were released within a year of each other in 1997–1998. Kenny Moore, Eugene-trained Olympic runner and co-star in Prefontaine, co-wrote the screenplay for Without Limits. Prefontaine was filmed in Washington because the Without Limits production bought out Hayward Field for the summer to prevent its competition from shooting there. Kenny Moore also wrote a biography of Bill Bowerman, played in Without Limits by Donald Sutherland back in Eugene 20 years after he had appeared in Animal House. Moore had also had a role in Personal Best.

Stealing Time, a 2003 independent film, was partially filmed in Eugene. When the film premiered in June 2001 at the Seattle International Film Festival, it was titled Rennie's Landing after a popular bar near the University of Oregon campus. The title was changed for its DVD release. Zerophilia was filmed in Eugene in 2006.

Parks and recreation

Hendricks Park
Hendricks Park

Spencer Butte Park at the southern edge of town provides access to Spencer Butte, a dominant feature of Eugene's skyline. Hendricks Park, situated on a knoll to the east of downtown, is known for its rhododendron garden and nearby memorial to Steve Prefontaine, known as Pre's Rock, where the legendary University of Oregon runner was killed in an auto accident. Alton Baker Park, next to the Willamette River, contains Pre's Trail. Also located next to the Willamette are Skinner Butte Park and the Owen Memorial Rose Garden, which is home to more than 4,500 roses of over 400 varieties, as well as the 150-year-old Black Tartarian Cherry tree, an Oregon Heritage Tree.

The city of Eugene maintains an urban forest. The University of Oregon campus is an arboretum, with over 500 species of trees. The city operates and maintains scenic hiking trails that pass through and across the ridges of a cluster of hills in the southern portion of the city, on the fringe of residential neighborhoods. Some trails allow biking, and others are for hikers and runners only.

The nearest ski resort, Willamette Pass, is one hour from Eugene by car. On the way, along Oregon Route 58, are several reservoirs and lakes, the Oakridge mountain bike trails, hot springs, and waterfalls within Willamette National Forest. Eugene residents also frequent Hoodoo and Mount Bachelor ski resorts. The Three Sisters Wilderness, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, and Smith Rock are just a short drive away.

Sister cities

Eugene has four sister cities:

  • Stan Bettis, Market Days; An Informal History of the Eugene Producers' Public Market. Eugene, OR: Lane Pomona Grange Fraternal Society, 1969.

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Eugene, Oregon Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.