The Eugene City Council, acting as the Urban Renewal Agency Board, wants to hear from community members about the Park Blocks and Farmers Market projects, at a Public Hearing on Monday, July 20th. The hearing will be an opportunity for community members to comment on whether the projects should move forward, and if so, how they should be funded.
The Downtown Urban Renewal Agency Board voted unanimously on Monday June 22nd to schedule a Public Hearing on the Park Blocks and Farmers Market projects. The council showed support for the overall designs and indicated a strong interest in prioritizing the construction of the Farmers Market portion of the project based on available funds.
The designs for Farmers Market and Park Blocks have been part of the Town Square project started in May of 2019 to re-imagine the public space at the intersection of 8th Avenue and Oak Street. With strong collaboration with the Lane County Farmers Market and Eugene Saturday Market, as well as with consultation and input from thousands of residents across Eugene, the community has shaped the design and direction of the project.
The Public Hearing, scheduled for Monday, July 20th, is the last opportunity for members of the public to formally weigh in on whether the Farmers Market and Park Block projects should move forward towards construction. Following the public hearing on July 20th, the City Council, acting as the Agency Board will hold a vote on whether to move forward with the projects at a meeting scheduled for July 27th.
At the June 22 meeting, the Agency Board also consider options for phasing the implementation of the Park Blocks and Farmers Market, particularly opportunities to construct an initial phase of the vision with currently available funds. The Agency Board voted to begin a process to amend the Urban Renewal Plan and remove the limit on funds for the Farmers Market, which will make it possible for this project to receive a larger share of the Urban Renewal dollars within the overall budget established in 2016.
Support Our Markets
Although the market season has not started the way we had planned, there are still many ways that you can support our local artists and farmers.
Lane County Farmers Market
The Lane County Farmers Market is officially operating as an essential service, providing fresh, local food to our community. The Farmers Market is open on Saturdays (9 AM- 3 PM) and Tuesdays (10 AM- 3 PM) at the Park Blocks. The first hour of market (9 – 10 AM on Saturdays and 10 – 11 AM on Tuesdays) are reserved for people over 60 years of age and those who are in a high risk category.
When you visit the market please make sure to follow new market health rules:
- Maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and other people.
- Shop quickly and do not linger in the market area after you have finished your shopping.
- Send only one member of your household when possible.
- Do not handle produce and food items that you are not buying.
Be sure to visit the LCFM website to learn more about the Farmers Market’s safety plan.
Eugene Saturday Market
The Eugene Saturday Market has reopened with hours of operation from 10 AM- 5 PM. The Market has made changes that will decrease crowds by reducing the number of sellers, spacing out stalls, canceling live music and offering take out only at the Food Court. Visit the Saturday Market website to view the complete safety plan.
In addition to the in-person market you can also browse through Saturday Market’s Artisan Directory and directly contact the makers and artists to make a purchase or scroll through the Eugene Saturday Markets Online Market Place on Facebook to see the latest crafts from market members.
If you would like to give financial support to local artists, please donate to either the Lane County Artists Relief Fund, which supports individual artists who have lost work due to COVID 19 or to the Kareng Fund, which offers small grants to artists and makers affected by market and fair closures.
The new Eugene Town Square has the power to transform the Park Blocks into a dynamic public place, bringing our diverse community together year-round. The Town Square will give a permanent home to the Farmers Market, a new City Hall and bring improvements to the southern Park Blocks to help the Eugene Saturday Market continue to thrive.
It’s people that make a park and the Town Square project needs help from everyone in Eugene to co-create a space that will reflect what is wonderful and unique about our city, for generations to come.