Residents of the Amazon neighborhood love the many outdoor recreational spots, but most agree that the upkeep of such areas is lacking greatly.
The community’s inviting streets, colorful businesses, and open parks give the neighborhood a family-friendly vibe, yet many residents feel like its should be maintained much better if it is going to remain as welcoming.
Kiel Berg, 19, is a frequent visitor of the local skate park. Coming at least four to five times per week, he knows to take precautions when around these areas. According to Berg, the area could be much safer if the trails and parks were better maintained, making more skaters come while driving out some of the drugs.
“This path is kind of sketchy sometimes,” Berg said of the Amazon trail. He also added that the people that hang out by the skate park and its surrounding areas are not always the safest crowd to be around because of the high rates of drug use.
According to Berg, the parks need to be better maintained in order to make more people want to visit them for recreation. His solution relies mostly in the simple upkeep of the neighborhood and its many offerings.
“Honestly, I think it just needs repaving,” Berg said. “How are you supposed to skate on this?”
Other neighborhood residents feel similar about this subject, as well. Tim Vignos, resident since 2011, finds the area beautiful, accessible, and in good proximity to businesses and parks, but he also find the upkeep to be lacking.
“I wish the Amazon running trail was taken care of better, because when it rains, it turns into mush,” he said.
While this seems unavoidable in the Eugene weather, there are ways to improve conditions such as the placement of woodchips, gravel, and dirt to help with water runoff. Because Vignos’s main mode of transportation is a bicycle, muddy trails can be a problem when commuting to work and other commitments.
His active involvement in the community through the GEARs cycling club and the Unitarian church makes it much easier for Vignos to get to know his neighbors and socialize with the Amazon community. His frequent visits to the dog park let him mingle with his peers, but he also notices the limited demographic the area caters to.
“It’s mostly young families and empty-nesters like me,” Vignos said.
Dylan Dornfield feels the same way about the current population of the Amazon neighborhood and he thinks that students might change the demographic of the area in a positive way.
“It definitely feels like the campus just doesn’t get spread as much over here,” he said.
As a young member of the neighborhood, he said he would definitely get involved with a residential community group in order to improve the landscape and safety of the area.
“I would repave that [area] myself,” said Dornfield of the local trails.
Giving a voice to students in the Amazon neighborhood is not something most residents are opposed to, either. Kelly Collins, a local father with three young daughters has lived in this region for 11 years and continues to enjoy the numerous playground areas even as younger people move closer.
“It doesn’t bother me,” Collins said of the student population. “I see students every day.”