In The News
The Erin Noble Memorial Lending Library
In December 2014 a Be-Noble Gathering to dedicate the Erin Noble Memorial Lending Library with a Grand Opening was held at Tsunami Book Store. Please feel free to visit and read some of Erins favorite authors!
View larger pitcure!
Deal reached on Amazon Creek land
Deal reached on Amazon Creek land
The $1.75 million purchase of a 26-acre parcel concludes an effort to preserve open spaces near the headwaters
BY EDWARD RUSSO
JAN. 31, 2015
A longtime effort to preserve forested land in south Eugene near the Amazon Creek headwaters is complete.
The city of Eugene and a private nonprofit foundation led by Deborah and Peter Noble this week concluded their $1.75 ¬million purchase of 26 acres near Martin Street and West ¬Amazon Drive.
A claim over attorneys’ fees that delayed the acquisition slightly has been resolved.
“The neighborhood is celebrating Saturday evening at Tsunami Books,” Deborah Noble said. “We have been anticipating that the property sale would close, and we are so happy that it has.”
The city contributed $1.1 ¬million from the 2006 parks and open space bond measure to buy two parcels totaling 15 acres. The Lane County Audubon Society contributed $25,000 to that
The Be Noble Foundation paid $625,000 for an 11-acre ¬parcel that it now owns.
The Nobles live next to the hillside property, which for several years had been owned by Martin and Leslie Beverly.
The newly acquired land will become part of the extensive network of mostly city-owned, forested open space near the Amazon headwaters.
The city has placed a pair of easements on the Be Noble Foundation property to ensure public access to the land and to prevent buildings from being constructed on it, Noble said.
People for years have walked on the parcels, creating their own trails, Noble said.
“The public has used the property even before the Beverlys bought it,” she said.
It’s OK for people to walk on the recently purchased land, said Craig Carnagey, the city’s parks and open space director. However, the city has not made any trail improvements or posted
directional signs on the land, he said.
The acquisition ended years of controversy over the property.At various times since the 1990s, the Beverlys had tried to gain city approval to develop the land with houses. Local residents ¬opposed the plans and sought to keep the land as is.
For years, the Southeast Neighbors neighborhood association asked the City Council to acquire the land so it could be preserved in its natural state.
Last year, the City Council said it would be willing to approve a reasonably priced purchase, but that local residents would have to help with the acquisition.
Negotiations began with the Beverlys. At one point, the Beverlys were asking $2.5 million for the 26 acres.
But the Beverlys lost the property last year in lieu of foreclosure to Dynasty Holdings, a business group headed by Springfield accountant James Youel.
Eventually, the city and the foundation reached a deal with Dynasty that was announced in November.
The property closing most likely would have taken place earlier in January, but it was delayed by a week or so by a claim that was included in a lawsuit filed against the Beverlys and
Dynasty by Eugene land use attorney Bill Kloos. Kloos sought $47,000 in legal fees for his work representing the Beverlys.
Kloos this week said he had received the fees, which ended the lawsuit, clearing the way for the properties to change ownership.
“That will be a nice addition to the park system,” Kloos said of the former Beverly property.
The Nobles established the Be Noble Foundation in honor of their son, Erin, who was killed in a 2012 plane crash near Veneta.
The public donated some of the money to buy the 11-acre parcel owned by the foundation, but Noble said she and her husband contributed the majority of the $625,000.
The joint purchase by the city and the Be Noble Foundation comes 16 years after the Beverlys sold 15 acres to the city and the Audubon Society for $180,000. The city used the land to expand
the Amazon headwaters trail network and build a trailhead and creek-crossing bridges off Canyon Drive.
In 2008, the council approved buying 40 nearby acres from developer Joe Green for $1.6 million so it wouldn’t be used for housing. About a third of the purchase price, $500,000, came from the parks bond measure.
Follow Ed on Twitter @edwardrusso . Email email@example.com .
WHAT’S NEXT (THIS ANNOUNCEMENT WAS BOXED OUT ON THE TOP FRONT PAGE OF CITY REGION… SO EXPECTING A CROWD )
An event sponsored by the Southeast Neighbors and Be Noble Foundation to celebrate the acquisition of 26 acres near the Amazon headwaters
When: From 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. today
Where: Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette St.
original article »
Amazon Headwaters Saved!
Eugene Weekly | November 26, 2014 - 12:00am | By Ted Taylor
The Eugene City Council this week gave advocates for preserving the headwaters of Amazon Creek something to be thankful for over the holidays. The council agreed Nov. 24 to acquire two lots of property in the Martin Street area to add to the Ridgeline Trail system. The Be Noble Foundation will acquire a contiguous third lot. The three lots, totaling about 26 acres, contain two main branches of the Amazon Creek headwaters as well as lush habitat for both plant and animal wildlife.
The city of Eugene will pay $1.125 million, funded by $1.1 million from the parks bond measure passed by the voters in 2006, and a $25,000 donation from the Lane County Audubon Society. Be Noble Foundation will pay $625,000 and maintain ownership of one lot with a conservation easement in memory of the Erin Noble who died in a private plane crash in 2012.
The newly acquired natural area will supplement existing public park and natural areas in the vicinity of the Amazon headwaters, including Frank Kinney Park on the north side of Martin Street and more than 100 acres along a main tributary of Amazon Creek to the east and south of the newly acquired area. Amazon Creek, which drains about 60 percent of the city of Eugene, “flows through a diverse mix of land uses including forested headwaters, highly urbanized lands, parks, natural areas and farmland on its 22-mile westward journey to the Long Tom River,” reads a prepared statement from Craig Carnagey, director of the city’s Parks and Open Space Division, and Charlie Tebbutt, spokesperson for Be Noble Foundation.
This land provides a valuable ecological corridor between the Amazon greenway and the headwaters of Amazon Creek, according to the Be Noble website. The website also notes that this site was identified by the Army Corps of Engineers in its Metro Waterways study as a priority open space acquisition area for the protection and restoration of Amazon Creek.
“For over a decade many people in the community have wanted to see this property come into public ownership,” Carnagey says. “This parkland acquisition will both enhance natural resource protections in the headwaters of Amazon Creek, and provide more recreational opportunities for all Eugene residents to enjoy.”
“Erin Noble, a beloved member of the community, had committed to assist in the efforts to preserve this important ecological area before he tragically died,” Tebbutt says. “He was, among his many talents and interests, an avid hiker who frequently trekked through the headwaters area to the Ridgeline Trail and Spencer’s Butte summit. Erin’s parents set up Be Noble Foundation to carry on Erin’s commitments to preserve Eugene’s vsion of the Amazon headwaters.” Tebbutt says the foundation will ask that the area be named in Erin Noble’s memory.
Heather Sielecki, president of Southeast Neighbors Neighborhood Association, is quoted in the statement saying, “after so many years of uncertainty, to have this area added to the Ridgeline Trail system for all Eugeneans, present and future, to enjoy, is remarkable. We thank the Nobles and the city for this important legacy.”
original source »
Amazon Creek Headwaters To Be Preserved
By RACHAEL MCDONALD
A 26-acre property in South Eugene will be preserved thanks to a private / public partnership between the City of Eugene and the Be Noble Foundation.
The 26-acre property in South Eugene includes the headwaters of Amazon Creek.
The 26-acre property in South Eugene includes the headwaters of Amazon Creek.
Credit Be Noble Foundation
The property includes the headwaters of Amazon Creek and is habitat for wildlife and a favorite hiking place for locals. The city and Be Noble Foundation purchased three lots for a total of $1.75 million.
Eugene attorney Charlie Tebbutt represents Be Noble Foundation. It was created in honor of Erin Noble, a young man who died in a plane crash near Veneta in 2012. Noble was committed to saving the property from development.
Tebbutt: “Erin was a very vibrant young man who reached out to a lot of different people in this community and every community that he lived in throughout his life and he trekked in the Amazon Headwaters of South America and his backyard was the Amazon Headwaters in Eugene.”
Two-thirds of the property will be owned by the city and incorporated into the Ridgeline Trail system. The other third will remain undeveloped. The Nobel family hopes the area will be named in Erin’s honor.
original article »
City Of Eugene and Be Noble Foundation Announce Purchase Of Amazon Headwaters Property
Heather Sielicki / 1 week ago
Be Noble to Request That Park Space Be Named In Honor of Erin Noble.
The Eugene City Council today agreed to acquire two lots of property in the Martin Street area to add to the Ridgeline Trail system. In addition, Be Noble Foundation will acquire a contiguous third lot. The three lots, totaling about 26 acres, feature two main branches of the Amazon Creek headwaters as well as habitat for wildlife.
The newly acquired natural area will supplement existing public park and natural areas in the vicinity of the Amazon headwaters, including Frank Kinney Park on the north side of Martin Street and more than 100 acres along a main tributary of Amazon Creek to the east and south of the newly acquired area. Amazon Creek, which drains about 60 percent of the city of Eugene, flows through a diverse mix of land uses including forested headwaters, highly urbanized lands, parks, natural areas, and farmland on its 22-mile westward journey to the Long Tom River.
According to the Be Noble web site, this is the only remaining place to make a connected ecological corridor between the Amazon greenway and the headwaters of Amazon Creek. The web site also states that this site was identified by the Army Corps of Engineers in its Metro Waterways study as a priority open space acquisition area for the protection and restoration of Amazon Creek.
“For over a decade many people in the community have wanted to see this property come into public ownership,” said Craig Carney, director of the City’s Parks and Open Space Division. “This parkland acquisition will both enhance natural resource protections in the headwaters of Amazon Creek, and provide more recreational opportunities for all Eugene residents to enjoy.”
“Erin Noble, a beloved member of the community, had committed to assist in the efforts to preserve this important ecological area before he tragically died in a light plane crash on June 23, 2012,” said Charlie Tebbutt, local attorney and spokesperson for Be Noble Foundation. “He was, among his many talents and interests, an avid hiker who frequently trekked through the headwaters area to the Ridgeline Trail and Spencer’s Butte summit. Erin’s parents set up Be Noble Foundation to carry on Erin’s commitments to preserve Eugene’s version of the Amazon headwaters.” Tebbutt said Be Noble will submit a request to the City asking that the area be named in Erin’s honor.
Heather Sielicki, president of Southeast Neighbors Neighborhood Association, added “after so many years of uncertainty, to have this area added to the Ridgeline Trail system for all Eugeneans, present and future, to enjoy, is remarkable. We thank the Nobles and the City for this important legacy.”
“The community has struggled to acquire the property for public use for almost 15 years,” Tebbutt said. “The property once belonged to Frank Anderson who donated the land to the LCC Foundation with a vision that the piece would be retained for public use. Somehow that vision went awry along the way, but the vision is now restored and fulfilled.”
The City of Eugene will pay $1.125 million, funded by $1.1 million from the parks bond measure passed by the voters in 2006, and a $25,000 donation from the Lane County Audubon Society. Be Noble Foundation will pay $625,000. Some of the land will be owned by the Be Noble Foundation, with the City to be granted a permanent conservation easement that provides for public access and forever prohibits development on the Be Noble property.
original article »
Be Noble Foundation, Eugene City Council and Lane County Audubon Society partner to buy 26 acres of Amazon Creek Headwaters
Big News! The City Council on Monday evening unanimously voted to partner with the Be Noble Foundation on a $1.775 million purchase of 26 acres near Martin Street and West Amazon Drive in south Eugene.
Mayor Kitty Piercy stated: “Like the Rivers to Ridges trails, this land is preserved for all of those who live here or visit,” she said. “It is a community asset and should be recognized as such. Whether you live north, south, east or west, this land is for you to enjoy and benefit from its preservation.”
Council agrees to buy 26 acres as open space »
Register-Guard: Entire city benefits from Amazon headwaters
Tues. March 18, 2014
Register Guard Eugene, OR
Saving Amazon Headwaters Commentary
By Eben Fodor
Saving the 26-acre Amazon Creek Headwaters parcel has been portrayed as a battle between the North and the South over the last shreds of Eugene’s 2006 Parks Bond funds (RG 3/9/14). I couldn’t disagree more. Here’s the short story on why we should buy the Headwaters for everyone’s benefit and how we can easily pay for it right now.
The timing is critical. The owners have received conditional approval for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) on 20.5 of the 26 acres. The property’s owners are willing sellers and they have reduced their offering price to a reasonable $2.5 million. Available funding sources include the remaining 2006 bond funds, the Parks System Development Charge (SDC) revenues, and City stormwater fee revenues. While much of the quarreling seems to be over the bond funds, the other funding sources have not even been mentioned.
Why have neighbors been fighting for almost two decades to preserves this land? This area is one of the highest-quality unprotected natural resource sites in Eugene. Threatened and sensitive species are known to exist here including rare plants (aster vialis and cimicifuga elata), red-legged frogs, and pileated woodpeckers.
This mix of forest, wetlands, and riparian areas is located at the headwaters of Amazon Creek, which drains much of the southern half of the city. In its natural state, this land provides numerous benefits, including recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat, water quality protection, and flood control. It is located conveniently at the end of West Amazon Drive just off a bus route and a bike route, and is easily accessible to every resident of the city. It connects directly to the Ridgeline Trail, a regional park system that benefits everyone.
Parks SDCs are collected from new development to help expand the park system as we grow. For example, each new house will pay about $3,750 towards park facilities. That revenue has added up to about $2 to $3 million per year. These funds can only be spent on parkland acquisition and new park facilities (not maintenance or operations). Much of the revenue has gone unspent for the past few years and there is far more money available than needed to purchase the Headwaters. The funds from a separate Stormwater SDC could also be used for this purpose.
The City’s Stormwater Fee is a monthly fee paid by all homes and businesses and generates $16 million a year to support stormwater management. The forested Headwaters provides natural flood control and stormwater management services that would be lost if it were developed. Using stormwater fees to acquire this land would help maintain water quality and could avoid millions of dollars in downstream stormwater mitigation costs. Natural systems, like forests, provide these services for free in perpetuity and don’t require regular maintenance or repair like man-made systems.
Finally, rather than arguing over the remains of the 2006 Parks Bond, lets prepare a 2014 Parks Bond. Voters approved the first bond in 1998 with 66% of the vote, and the second one in 2006 with 58 percent. It seems the people of Eugene are willing, if not eager, to invest in our park system’s expansion.
All the best cities in the country have made major investments in parkland. It contributes to quality of life, enhances property values, and gives a city dignity and respect that comes from preserving the beauty of open spaces and natural areas. Portland has the 5,000-acre Forest Park right next to the urban core. What would New York be without Central Park? And what would Washington, DC be without the Mall and Rock Creek Park?
Eugene has done a great job in the past. The Register-Guard once championed the protection of Spencer Butte so that it could become the forested beacon that it is today – and that it will always be. Why not support a modest expansion of this legacy to accommodate all the growth that has taken place? It’s time to step up and hit another home run for the future of our city.
original source »
The Eugene Weekly: The Trouble with Tributaries
Restoring the urban Amazon
JUNE 20, 2013
BY AMY SCHNEIDER
Amazon Creek. Photo by Todd Cooper.
Walking through downtown, it’s easy to miss Eugene’s wayward waterway, hidden in culverts and secreted away behind swathes of pavement and sidewalk. Though Amazon Creek shares its name with a mighty South American river, the comparisons stop there. It once provided a connective pathway for fish and other wildlife traveling from its headwaters near Spencer Butte to the Long Tom River, which further connects to the Willamette River and drains all the way to the Pacific Ocean. But after heavy restructuring in the 1940s and ’50s to mitigate stormwater flooding, Amazon Creek took on an entirely different persona.
Over the decades, the creek has succumbed to the pressures of its urban lifestyle. Stormwater drains directly into this tributary of the Willamette, carrying with it pesticides, heavy metals from parking lots and motor oil from leaky cars. Algae grows in the stagnant waters near South Eugene High School, forming a thick layer of slime during the summer, and the canals that redirect Amazon Creek’s flow seem more like stagnant moats than a corridor in a healthy ecosystem.
Amazon Creek has its flaws, but like a delinquent child, it also has a number of people interested in its welfare. One of those people was Erin Noble, whose parents live close to the Amazon headwaters. Before his death in a 2012 airplane crash in Veneta, Erin used to hike from his parents’ house near the headwaters all the way to Spencer Butte several times a week.
“He felt very attracted and drawn to this place,” says Deborah Noble, his mother, who has been actively involved in acquiring the Amazon headwaters for preservation.
Erin’s friends say that he was a true adventurer, and not a moment of his 27 years was wasted. He traveled to England, France and Peru, hiked along the Pacific Crest Trail and always made friends along the way. His passion for people and the environment was a source of inspiration.
Erin Noble’s love of Eugene and its natural areas came to the surface in June 2012, when he approached his dad about helping out with the Southeast Neighbors of Eugene in their goal to protect the headwaters. “Erin came to me and said, ‘Let’s save the Amazon headwaters, Dad,’” says Peter Noble, a longtime businessman in the timber industry and founder of West Wind Forest Products.
Erin intended to join the conservation efforts after he finished volunteering for the Oregon Country Fair, but the plane crash prevented him from carrying out his goal.
“I was really excited about the things he was saying,” says Kevin Matthews, former longtime president of the Southeast Neighbors. “His energy would have been a huge asset to getting people involved. He had an honest enthusiasm and an infectious light that could really connect with a lot of people.”
In his honor, Erin’s parents launched the Be Noble Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to raising enough money to acquire the Amazon headwaters and protect them from development. Erin’s friends and family say they are committed to carrying on his spirit and legacy by saving the land he loved. They want to see a change in the way Eugene’s natural resources are treated.
Deborah Noble in the forest where her son Erin used to hike.
Photo by Trask Bedortha.
Kevin Matthews. Photo by Trask Bedortha.
So far, the Amazon headwaters have avoided major restructuring from development, and the Nobles want to keep it that way. Nestled in the south hills of Eugene just above Martin Street, the headwaters carry water from the upper reaches of Amazon Creek to the lower portions, including those that run through town. The Ridgeline Trail follows segments of the creek, surrounded by towering oak trees and Douglas firs. Glimpses of Spencer Butte loom through the tree-shrouded sky, and the quietness that comes with a natural area prevails, save for the gentle tumbling of the stream. As water flows down from this area, it carries food, nutrients and debris to the ecosystems farther down, although right now, there’s not much of a functioning ecosystem directly below.
But for Amazon Creek, change is happening. The Long Tom Watershed Council (LTWC) works with local businesses to improve water quality through simple measures such as landscape alteration. By building rain gardens and bioswales, areas of vegetation and soil that slow the entry of water into the stormwater system, businesses along the creek can reduce their impact on the creek’s water quality. Already, the LTWC has partnered with In Shape Athletic Club to remove excess asphalt from their property and replace it with soil and native plants, allowing stormwater to filter through instead of draining directly into the creek.
“We have to increase the demand for those kinds of landscapes,” says Dana Dedrick, executive director of the LTWC. “We’d love to have more Amazon Creek champions, and now that we know a lot of our vision is possible, much more possible than we thought, we want to keep building the community support.”
Dedrick says that the LTWC envisions an Amazon Creek that allows safe passage for trout and other wildlife, and with each improvement to the land surrounding Amazon Creek, the prospect of a healthy habitat draws a little closer. “Imagine angling for trout from Fern Ridge Trail,” Dedrick says. “There are people who remember playing in Amazon Creek when they were little. It’s not that far off — we’ve got a lot of potential.”
Last year, the LTWC discovered three native cutthroat trout in the lower reaches of Amazon Creek all the way near Junction City, further confirming the creek’s capacity for harboring native species as it once did. Dedrick says the fish were all around one foot long and were found about a quarter mile from where Amazon Creek connects to Long Tom River. “What they’re likely doing is exploring,” Dedrick says. “Some experts firmly believe that trout can successfully inhabit Amazon Creek.”
It will take some time and effort, possibly including modifications to the concrete sections of the creek. But Jason Schmidt, the LTWC’s urban watershed restoration specialist, says that controlling water pollution is a big step in the right direction. If local businesses continue making adjustments to their landscapes, Amazon Creek could be well on its way to a state of remission.
But the Nobles’ vision of a healthy Amazon isn’t yet a sure thing. While groups like the LTWC are helping the creek revert to a more natural state through town, the waterway’s point of origin might go in the opposite direction. The Amazon headwaters area is currently slated for development by Leslie and Martin Beverly, who own a 26-acre parcel of land that includes a portion of the headwaters. The Beverlys did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
For more than 10 years, the Southeast Neighbors have worked together to block development of the headwaters, a partially successful effort on their part. In 2008, the city worked with the Southeast Neighbors to purchase 40 acres of land from Joe Green for $1.4 million. At this time, the Beverlys also offered to sell their land, but at a price of $4 million, and the city decided not to purchase. The land known as the Beverly property is the last parcel of the Amazon headwaters with its fate undecided.
If the city of Eugene were to purchase the Beverly property, as it did with the Green property, it would most likely use funds from the 2006 Parks and Open Space bond measure, which is set aside specifically for acquiring or improving parks and natural areas and cannot be used for other purposes. The Southeast Neighbors estimate that a portion of land called the Deerbrook PUD property is worth approximately $1 million, and while the property has not been appraised since before the housing crash, Matthews says that the Southeast Neighbors have offered to partner with the Beverlys for re-appraisal, which has not yet happened.
With Amazon Creek’s already dilapidated condition, paving the headwaters and building houses will impact the water quality further down. Proponents of conserving the Amazon headwaters argue that the headwaters represent a keystone area, crucial to retaining connectivity between watersheds and providing habitat to native plant and animal species.
Matthews, who is planning to run for the East Lane County commissioner position next year, says about 60 percent of water runoff in Eugene drains into Amazon Creek. “It really is the dominant native watershed of Eugene,” he says. “This is the last place where we could actually complete a habitat corridor between other preserved headwaters land and this greenway.”
In the 2003 Rivers to Ridges Vision plan, which lays out a framework for future parks and open spaces in the Eugene metro area, the headwaters are identified as a possible park and open space area, and the report lists their importance in terms of scenic quality, connectivity and habitat. Jeff Krueger, a principal member of the team responsible for the Rivers to Ridges plan, says that the closeness of the headwaters to the Ridgeline Trail System makes them a desirable candidate for preservation. “In general, the headwaters area was one of those key areas in that open space vision,” he says.
Building houses on the headwaters will be a big change for a landscape that has so far avoided urbanization. Over the years, the city has denied several attempts to build on the land due to the steepness of the parcel, but in March 2012, developers proposed to build 75 single-family houses on the Beverly property in the segment known as the Deerbrook PUD property. This would involve the clearing away of habitat and soil and the introduction of pavement. And troubled Amazon Creek, already smothered down by development where it runs through the city, takes a hit if the waters that feed the creek are modified to accommodate buildings. Everything flows downstream from the headwaters, meaning that soil disturbance and pollutants caused by construction can impact the entire creek farther down.
The LTWC’s work in town to install rain gardens and bioswales reduces the negative impacts of too much pavement. While river lovers are hoping to remove concrete downtown, developers of the Beverly property plan to add more of it upstream. “As with any development that takes place, the impacts of impervious surface can lead to erosion in the creek channel and the carrying of other pollutants into the waters,” Schmidt says.
According to Tom Pringle, a biochemist and researcher who has been actively involved in the restoration of a portion of Amazon Creek, an increase in impervious surfaces can lead to more flooding. Impervious services like concrete prevent stormwater from properly draining. Instead of soaking into the ground and seeping through a natural filtration system of soil, which removes contaminants along the way, water slides off of impervious surfaces and into storm drains, dumping the water into Amazon Creek unfiltered. Pringle says that runoff from Amazon Creek below 24th Avenue could create costly flooding without proper management. When the creek experiences a spike in peak flow after heavy rainfall, the headwaters play an important part in mitigating that flow.
“In a sense, property owners wanting to develop the last of the upper watershed have to pass off the downside costs of development to people, nature and businesses below them in the watershed,” Pringle wrote in an email.
Development also presents a problem to native plant and animal species, some of which are considered by the state of Oregon as rare or threatened. The Mayor’s 2008 Ad Hoc Committee report on the Amazon headwaters said that professional biologist Dave Konfranek discovered several species of rare mosses and lichen on the former Green property, while biologist Tom Titus found the state-listed sensitive northern red-legged frog in the headwaters area.
“It’s really special,” Matthews says. “So much of those timber acres have been logged and re-logged, but these little untouched pockets are kind of priceless.”
The 2012 development project was initially rejected, but the Eugene Planning Commission voted in December to approve the PUD with a reduced number of houses. The Southeast Neighbors then appealed the reversal to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA), and they’re currently raising money to cover the legal costs of their appeal. Matthews says that the Southeast Neighbors have already raised $27,000, but they are in need of $13,000 more to continue paying their legal defense bill. What happens next depends on LUBA’s decision.
When Erin Noble walked through the forested areas of Amazon Creek, eyes set on the outline of Spencer Butte, he felt a connection to the natural landscape. Before he died, he expressed his love for the headwaters and his desire to keep them free of development.
His friends and family carry on his dream now, but so do organizations like the LTWC, which seek collaborative solutions to improve water quality and restore some of Amazon Creek’s original functions. At this point, when the creek is drawing ever closer to its natural state, a step in the wrong direction could be a huge setback, further stalling the appearance of cutthroat trout and other wildlife.
Amazon Creek isn’t a shining beacon of health. It weaves its way through the heart of Eugene, but it’s been neglected for a long time, molded into practical uses instead of ecological ones. Dedrick says she wants to help restore the creek to a more youthful state of health, but she needs participation from the entire community to move forward. “People look at Amazon Creek and they might underestimate the kind of fish and wildlife corridor it can be,” Dedrick says. “It’s a hidden gem that comes from Spencer Butte down to where we grow our food. It connects us all.”
original source »
Landwatch: Be Noble Amazon Headwaters Project
A community effort is underway to protect the headwaters of Amazon Creek and 26 acres of the natural sloping woodland area that serve to shelter and filter the springs and rivulets that issue from it. Three main branches of the Amazon Creek system are encompassed by the property. Understory plants cloak evidence of occasional landslides in this wetland environment. Mature trees, including black cottonwood, big-leaf maple, Oregon ash, willow, and a few ponderosa pine, contribute to the forest habitat of birds, aquatic creatures, small mammals and deer.
This tranquil watershed also accommodates hikers, amblers and joggers on a low-key network of trails within easy walking or bicycling distance of Martin Street, Fox Hollow Road and Spencer Butte.
Nearby resident Erin Noble grew up exploring the surrounds of the Amazon headwaters. About ten years ago when he realized that the land, owned by Martin and Leslie Beverly, was envisioned as a residential development, Erin told his parents, Deborah and Peter, that the slopes should not be paved and built over but should be preserved as natural habitat and the birthplace of AmazonCreek
download pdf »
Bike In Shapes: Be Noble Ribbon Ride
BikeInShapes is bubbling in anticipation to honor and continue celebrating the life of Erin Noble. We’re calling it the “Be Noble” ribbon ride. We will begin where many Noble mornings began, the Martin’s Trailhead off W. Amazon (See map). We’ll trot our bikes down the Amazon Creek running trail, looping Erin’s ribbon through town over to the Whitaker. The ride will conclude with fundraiser pints at Ninkasi.
The time has been change from August 30th to Monday, September 3rd to accommodate a generous gesture from Ninkasi Brewing. Their tasting room is donating a portion of the beer proceeds all day Labor Day to Erin Noble’s Fund to Save the Amazon Creek Headwaters.
So to recap:
Date: Labor Day Monday, September 3rd.
Start: Martin’s Trailhead, 6:30pm.
Finish: Ninkasi Tasting Room, 7-9pm.
Ninkasi Brewing is donating 25% their tasting room beer proceeds all day Labor Day to Erin Noble’s Fund to Save the Amazon Creek Headwaters. Thank you Ninkasi for this generous gesture.
original source »
The Eugene Weekly: BE NOBLE
In the hills of south Eugene sits 26 acres of land, called the Beverly property, that neighbors treasure for the trees, the wildlife and because the land is home to the headwaters of Amazon Creek. Deborah and Peter Noble say
original source »
Foundation will honor Erin Noble
How do you honor a son who's gone? If you're Peter and Deborah Noble, with great expectations. On Nov. 7 - the day their son would have turned 28 - the parents of Erin Noble will throw a party to launch the Be Noble Foundation. "This is but a grain of sand in what we're hoping will be a much bigger story," his father says
original source »
Legal Status - last updated June 2023
Proposed is a 47 lot housing development that would threaten the Amazon Creek Headwaters.
On June 6, 2013 at 11:00 am, Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) heard the Southeast Neighbors appeal of the Eugene Planning Commissions 4-3 decision to overturn City of Eugene Hearing Official’s denial of the Deerbrook Planned Unit Development application. The Deerbrook Planned Unit Development’s proposed site is in the heart of the Amazon Creek Headwaters. Best wishes to the Southeast neighbors!
White Paper by Kevin Matthews: Amazon Creek Headwaters White Paper.
download the pdf »