With the recent expansion of Springfield’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) in 2019, the City has started work on an environmental assessment project to learn more about Springfield’s newly added natural assets. The results will guide a framework for future development in the UGB expansion areas.

Future development within the UGB expansion areas will rely on an understanding of the land’s existing characteristics to make informed decisions. This project will address these needs by inventorying and evaluating wetlands and streams (referred to as “riparian corridors”) in the UGB expansion areas to determine if any of these resources should be locally protected and to determine how and where future development may be best-sited.

These study areas are located in north Gateway, in southwest Springfield along the Mill Race near the Middle Fork Path and ending at Clearwater Park, and three publicly owned properties across north Springfield—two of which are Lively Park and Ruff Park. Opportunities to learn more about the results of the inventory will include mapped results on the project webpage and virtual meetings. More details to come this fall or winter. Anyone who is interested in the project can sign up for project updates to be e-mailed automatically by going to the project’s webpage on the City’s website.

What: Inventory of Springfield’s water features (wetlands and riparian corridors) to inform possible protections and to inform future decisions about development

Who: Project stakeholders, including current and future residents, businesses, and other organizations in Springfield and beyond

When: The project began in winter 2020 with a completion date no sooner than fall 2021

Where: 2019 Springfield Urban Growth Boundary Expansion Areas

Additional Information: Monica Sather, Project Manager, 541.736.1038 or msather@springfield-or.gov

or visit https://www.springfield-or.gov/wetland-riparian-inventories-for-ugb-expansion-areas/

Background: The inventories and preferred options for protecting wetlands and riparian corridors in Springfield will result in the second update to the Springfield Natural Resources Study—originally created in 2005. The most recent update to the Study occurred in 2011 for the Glenwood area. The study areas for this second update contain 54 properties that total 769 acres. About one-third of the properties included are privately owned and are reserved for additional employment sites if property owners choose to pursue development. Lands under various combinations of City, Springfield Utility Board, and Willamalane Park & Recreation District ownership make up the remaining two-thirds share and will be dedicated to public services and open spaces.

This inventory and assessment work is made possible by a Technical Assistance Grant from the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) awarded in January 2020 and is made possible by a contribution from TEAM Springfield partners (in-kind and/or funds): Springfield Utility Board, Willamalane Park & Recreation District, and the City of Springfield. Local matching funds from the City and SUB will go toward the cost for environmental consultants to complete the inventory. Funds from the DLCD Grant will also contribute toward this cost and allow for a project partnership between the City and the Lane Council of Governments.