Eugene /juːˈdʒiːn/ is a major city of the Pacific Northwest located in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is the second-largest city in the state and the county seat of Lane County. It is located at the south end of the Willamette Valley, near the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette rivers, about 50 miles (80 km) east of the Oregon Coast. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Eugene has a population of 156,185, and Lane County (co-located with the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area) (MSA) has a population of 351,715. While Eugene has long been the second-largest city in Oregon, it was briefly surpassed by Salem between 2005 and 2007. The Eugene-Springfield, Oregon MSA is the 144th largest metropolitan statistical area of the U.S., and the third-largest in the state, behind the Portland Metropolitan Area and the Salem Metropolitan Area. The city's population was estimated by the Portland Research Center to be 159,580 in 2013.
Eugene is named after its founder, Eugene Franklin Skinner. Until 1889, it was named Eugene City. In 1846, Skinner erected the first cabin in the area. It was used as a trading post and was registered as an official post office on January 8, 1850. At this time the settlement was known as Skinner's Mudhole. It was relocated in 1853 and named Eugene City, but was not formally incorporated as a city until 1862. Skinner later ran a ferry service across the Willamette River where the Ferry Street Bridge now stands. The first major educational institution in the area was Columbia College, founded a few years earlier than the University Of Oregon. It fell victim to two major fires in four years, and after the second fire, the college decided not to rebuild again. The part of south Eugene known as College Hill was the former location of Columbia College. There is no college there today.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 43.74 square miles (113.29 km Sq), of which, 43.72 square miles (113.23 km Sq) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km Sq) is water. Eugene is located at an elevation of 426 feet (130 m).
Like the rest of the Willamette Valley, Eugene lies in the Marine West Coast climate zone (Köppen Csb), with Mediterranean characteristics. Temperatures can vary from cool to warm, with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Spring and fall are also moist seasons, with light rain falling for long periods. Winter snowfall does occur, but it is sporadic and rarely accumulates in large amounts: the average seasonal amount is 5 inches (12.7 cm), and the median is 0. The record snowfall was 3 ft deep due to a pineapple express in late January 1969. Record snowfall for March was 8 inches deep in 2012. The hottest months are July and August, with average highs of around 82 °F (28 °C), with an average of 15 days per year above 90 °F (32.2 °C). The coolest month is December, with the average daytime high in the mid-40s°F (7–8 °C), and nights averaging just above freezing. There are 54 nights per year with a low below freezing, and about three days with highs not exceeding freezing. The record high low was 73 °F (23 °C) in 2006.
Parks and recreation
Hendricks Park, situated on a knoll to the east of downtown, is known for its Rhododendron garden and nearby memorial to Steve Prefontaine, known as Pre's Rock, where the legendary University of Oregon runner was killed in an auto accident. Alton Baker Park, next to the Willamette River, contains Pre's Trail. Also located next to the Willamette is the Owen Rose Garden, which is home to more than 4,500 roses of over 400 varieties, and the 150-year-old Black Tartarian Cherry tree, an Oregon Heritage Tree.
Eugene museums include the University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and Museum of Natural and Cultural History, the Oregon Air And Space Museum, Lane County Historical Museum, Maude Kerns Art Center, Shelton McMurphey Johnson House, and the Science Factory Children's Museum & Planetarium.