Proposal To Rename Washington-Jefferson Park In Honor Of Edwin R. Smith

Jul 5, 2019

A city council proposal could change the name of Washington-Jefferson Park to honor the man who helped create it.

Edwin and Marjorie Smith.
Credit Courtesy of Marjorie Smith

Washington-Jefferson Park covers 21-acres in downtown Eugene and Edwin R. Smith, considered a founding father of Parks and Open Spaces, was instrumental in its creation. When the highway department was going to put a freeway through the Whitaker neighborhood, they planned on putting embankments on either side. But Smith made sure the area under the viaduct stayed open.

Emily Proudfoot, principal landscape architect with Parks and Open Spaces, says the park was just one of many projects in the city Smith was a part of.

“He had a huge impact on our community and at a time when it was growing a lot,” says Proudfoot. “The benefits of his work are visible to all of us every single day.”

The proposal would change the name to Edwin R. Smith Park, but WJ Skatepark would retain its name.