A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

At Sunrise Park, discovering a ‘wetland’

Written February 19th, 2024 by Hasso Hering

Ducks paddle in a section of Sunrise Park on Feb. 18, 2024. Looks like a wetland, doesn’t it?

On Sunday the bike and I made a detour through Sunrise Park off Southeast Thurston Street. The visit reminded me of the flap over “wetlands” that delayed the reconstruction of this park several years ago.

As I reported back on April 17, 2017, the city of Albany paid a wetlands bank owned by the city of Eugene $38,225.80 to “mitigate” the alleged loss of two-thirds of an acre of designated wetlands in Sunrise Park.

The city wanted to replace the old playground and make other improvements in the park, but before it could go ahead, someone had to be hired to check for wetlands. Some wetland was found, and the project had to make up for its loss when the improvements were built.

I made fun of this at the time on the grounds that this had been a developed park for generations. Nobody would have thought of the park, let alone the old playground, as a place with wetland qualities. Still, rules are rules, even when they make no sense.

So on Sunday, I stopped and watched a squad of ducks paddling around a big puddle in the park. There it was, a true “wet land.”

The rest of the park was more or less wet, too. This included sections of the concrete pathway circling the park.

The path is lined with 17 picture boards telling the story, in Spanish and English, of six little penguins. Imagine pushing your little granddaughter around the path in a stroller and reading each installment to her. She’d enjoy it.

Anyway, on Sunday it looked like Sunrise Park still serves as a wetland, and that it still has whatever aquatic qualities it had before any work was done. So why did the city have to pay to “mitigate” for any loss? (hh)

Nearing the end of the penguin story along the path that circles Sunrise Park.

5 responses to “At Sunrise Park, discovering a ‘wetland’”

  1. CHEZZ says:

    City of Eugene – Hello!
    Water, being what it is…..

  2. Cap B. says:

    Why did the city have to mess with the park and get into the wetlands flap!! They could have just replaced the old playground equipment and left the rest of the park alone.
    Apparently, the designation that the area is wetlands is correct! (Of course, I’m a progressive conversing with a libertarian blog owner, so I’m knocking my head against a brick wall!)

  3. DeeDee says:

    You should look at Riverview Heights park in North Albany, it is also a wetlands, at least 9 months of the year! Some young boys were riding their bikes in the “lake” Sundat as I was walking my choc. lab in the park. The youngest boy riding his bike away from the area advised me turn around because we’d be walking in water and get wet! Maybe the Parks and Rec needs to put in some drainage lines in these parks. Also this weekend, IGA in North Albany is asking shoppers to round up their purchase for the Albany Parks and Recreation. More musings.

    • Cap B. says:

      Oh My God! Parks and Rec and the city say everything is lovely with the “ruining of Monteith Park.” (That’s my interpretation of what they are dong on Water Street.) But, if the grocery stores are asking for a hand-out for Parks and Rec, I guess the city didn’t get enough millionaires to sign up to have their names on the outside of their restroom building at Monteith Park!! What is wrong with this city government? Get rid of all the Councilors when they come up for re-election!

  4. Al Nyman says:

    A true definition of a wetland is water year around, not casual flooding.


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