Looking back at 2020
January 6, 2021
This year has taught us how to shift in the way we all live, work, and play. In 2020, we were planning Civic Park’s Grand Opening in June. We were also on track to complete fundraising efforts for Phase 1. The COVID-19 outbreak put an indefinite hold on our Grand Opening and construction plans changed.
OPENING UP WHILE THE WORLD SHUTS DOWN
The ECA Board of Directors requested staff explore using Civic Park for the benefit of our community during the pandemic. In March, we approached the City of Eugene offering Civic as an emergency facility. Ultimately it wasn’t needed, so we adjusted to make use of the facility under the Oregon Health Authority guidelines for recreational use.
“We created a safe bubble space where we can uphold specific guidelines that keep the facility clean, uphold specific mask guidelines, and all other state regulations,” said AJ Gaulton, business development and event director at Civic Park.
Kids were the first to benefit.
“Kids only get to be kids once,” Bev Smith, executive director of Kidsports. “The terrible pandemic has taken almost a year of their childhood and yet due to the opening of Civic Park, Kidsports was able to balance the need for critical physical, social, and emotional activities with a safe, socially distanced, and well-sanitized summer and fall program.”
Civic Park hosted Kidsports’ P.E. Fusion program indoors this fall to ensure kids stayed active during the “Stay home” order. When further restrictions nixed indoor activities, the program was moved outdoors on the Civic Park Turf Field. The field also hosted Kidsports flag football which ensured middle and high school players stayed together as a team, developed skills, and stayed active during the pandemic. Various other events were booked at Civic Park, prior to the pandemic. Many of those reservations were postponed or held at a limited capacity.
A variety of organizations called on Civic to help them continue their programs.
Barre3 Eugene, Stop Drop and Yoga, Eugene Concert Choir, Momleta, and the Eugene Timbers FC are among those we’ve hosted at Civic! Workouts, sessions, classes, rehearsals, practices, and games have all been held safely in the Kidsports Fieldhouse or on the Civic Park Turf Field.
“Civic Park is the perfect venue to host a family-friendly event. Our Leadership Eugene Springfield class of 2020 was happy to gather with friends, family, and employers out on the turf field to celebrate their graduation.”
– Paige Sharpe, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
“Civic Park is actually making choir rehearsals a reality for the Eugene Concert Choir and Eugene Vocal Arts. Although the singers may have to wave at each other from across a field or gymnasium, we will experience the human connection of knowing we are still here for each other.”
– Diane Retalick, Eugene Concert Choir
“The field is top of mind. There is so much opportunity to use this space for community gatherings, especially during this time of distancing and outdoors being so important. I’ve already seen creative uses and can imagine others.”
– Jessica Neely, Barre3 Eugene
“Civic has lots of appeal for whatever you’d like to do outside; fitness, festivals, and events. Now, more than ever, it’s important to find ways to be together while staying apart and Eugene Civic Alliance is making that happen. Civic Park is well-positioned to become the central meeting place for Lane County.”
– Benjamin Wilkinson, Stop, Drop, & Yoga
“Many of our players and families have shared with us the importance of organized and fun activity in their daily routines. We appreciate the willingness of Civic Park to let us use their facilities with all the COVID protocols in place. We also enjoyed working together.”
– Jurgen Ruckaberle, Eugene Timbers FC
“Both the outdoor and indoor spaces at Civic Park are hands down the nicest in town and we are so fortunate to be able to utilize them. The huge amount of space makes it easy to socially distance and feel safe while still being together working out with your kids. It’s the perfect environment for moms to meet other moms while working out, set a healthy example for their kids, and easily follow all pandemic/social distancing requirements making sure everyone is safe at all times!”
– Annie Mills, Momleta Eugene
FINISHING PHASE 1
Civic Park is a multiphase project. Phase 1 encompasses an outdoor FIFA regulation-sized turf field, flexible asphalt space, the Kidsports Fieldhouse, and two outdoor sports courts. Inside the 40,000 sq. ft. fieldhouse, there are four multipurpose courts, locker rooms, meeting space, and elevated seating.
When fully constructed, the historic site will include a new stadium with a 2,500-seat grandstand and all the amenities, including a food court that will serve local foods and brews. Learn more about Phase 2.
We are in the final stage of Phase 1 fundraising, too. We have $1.3 million left to raise. Due to the immense support from the entire community, we are near the finish line of Phase 1! The McKenzie Oaks Ranch Fund of Oregon Community Foundation gave us a matching gift that helped us raise a total of $3 million by December 31, 2020.
Chambers Family Foundation, Market of Choice, PacificSource Health Plans, Oregon Community Credit Union, Giustina Foundation, Slocum, and Clarion Partners, LLC have also been major contributors to the project. Individuals have also given to Civic Park to commemorate a loved one. Contact us to learn more. There is still time to donate.
Your support has given us the opportunity to begin giving back to our community by providing a space for everyone to “Play On” in 2020 and for years to come!
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2021
The pandemic may have presented a challenge in fundraising efforts but it only reinforced our mission. When we are able to celebrate our Grand Opening event at Civic Park, we will celebrate our community’s resilience and ability to Play On, even through the toughest times.
“We made it,” Smith exclaims! “We made it due to the hard work and diligent persistence of the Eugene Civic Alliance and its dedicated staff and board members, who directly helped Kidsports to get to this place and space that our community needs, particularly our kids, and particularly at this moment in time.”
Please continue to support Civic Park and stay in the know by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on our social media pages.