Nestled next to the Willamette River near the Washington Jefferson Street bridge is the eight and a half-acre park known as Owen Rose Garden. In 1951, George E. Owen, a former Eugene city councilor and lumberman, donated five acres with his house to the city. It was the first parcel in a series that now forms the section of riverfront park stretching from the Ferry Street Bridge to the Greenway bike bridge near Valley River Center.
Shortly after Owen’s donation of property, the Eugene Rose Society donated the original 750 rose bushes. This original collection has expanded into a panorama of more than 4,500 roses of over 400 varieties. Stewardship by many volunteers has continued, including the Delta Rotary, who from 1999 to 2004 spearheaded a major renovation of the garden.
The rose garden features the nationally recognized Oregon Heritage Cherry Tree, a webcam, a large open turf area, a public restroom, accessible gravel walkways with benches, a pergola-lined paved walkway, a 28-foot diameter gazebo, an arbor picnic area, a parking lot and maintenance facility, and an impressive collection of heritage and heirloom roses.
Have you ever wondered about how to manage roses? If you are interested in volunteering at the Owen Rose Garden, join us for our year-round Thursday work parties to help manage, beautify, and care for this diverse garden. Come get hands-on experience in rose culture with guidance on pruning techniques, planting methods, fertilizer needs, and general rose care. Email Daphene Sampson or contact her at 541-682-4880 for more information.
For other volunteer opportunities, get involved with our Eugene Outdoors volunteer program. Learn new skills, meet great people, and improve the quality of life in Eugene by helping to care for our parks and open spaces.
Whiteaker Community Council
Owen Rose Garden