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A great new parks map.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Eugenans and visitors to the city have been given a early but more-than-welcome holiday gift: a new map of the city's parks. Every household should have one of these maps.

The new parks map is a grand addition to the city's information bank. The map, which replaces a 12-year-old predecessor that was not nearly as spiffy or informative, was distributed for the first time Friday at the Eugene Celebration. It's also available at city parks and the open space booth near the new city library.

The new map is packed with information about the city's 72 public parks and its dozen or so open areas. Examples include: where to find horseshoe stakes, volleyball courts and boat ramps; where to locate the city's community gardens and dog runs; the distance from each park to a local school; which parks have city swimming pools, and the phone numbers and locations of each park.

As the map notes, the city maintains 32 athletic fields, 12.5 miles of running and biking trails, four off-leash dog parks and more than 800 acres of riverfront park space.

The map also provides unusual information, such as the fact that the city mows about 850 acres of park space per year. It inspects and maintains some 100,000 street trees, plants around 1,500 trees a year, maintains more than 300 acres of wetlands and recycles about 4,000 tons of leaves a year.

An updated map is timely, because in 1998 the city's voters wisely approved some $25 million in parks projects. Approximately 100 acres of new parkland has been acquired per year since the parks bond measure won voter approval.

Fresh statistics on park use are also useful, and revealing. The city's parks and recreation sites consist of more than 2,600 acres. Some 10,000 people attend concerts in the parks every summer. Last year, more than 20,000 children attended the Summer Fun for All program in nine city parks. And 550,000 - that's more than half a million - people participated in city recreation programs, with about half that number being youths.

In addition to the common interpretation of what a park is, the city also owns and operates the Hult Center and Jacobs Gallery, Cuthbert Amphitheater, the Shelton-McMurphey-Johnson House (the `castle on the hill') near Skinner Butte Park, and the Wayne Morse Historical Park. In their own way, these cultural and historical properties are indeed part and parcel of the parks system.

In any event, get yourself a copy of the new parks map, and use it to explore all that's available. Surprises await.
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Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:City project scores a 10; Editorials
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Sep 20, 2003
Words:435
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