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Budget Cuts Affect Rose Garden

EUGENE, Ore. — The city of Eugene faces a $6 million budget shortfall, and already the city is scaling back.

Roses at the Owen Rose Garden got the cut.

With more than 3,500 roses at the garden, there’s always work to be done.

Two full-time employees, one shared seasonal worker and a team of volunteers maintain this massive 7.5 acre garden. That’s down from three full-time workers and two seasonal workers.

But the workload hasn’t changed. In winter, every single rose bush must be pruned back. Some roses you could say have been pruned for their last time at least here.

In addition to staff cuts, the city of Eugene is cutting back the footprint of the garden.

“They’ve had to reduce staff and try to maintain as much of the garden as possible in an efficient way and they’ve done that,” said Darryl Larson, Eugene Parks Foundation.

More than 400 rose bushes were yanked in December. With so many roses, it’s hard to tell where.

There used to two rows of full-grown roses lining the perimeter by the walkway. Now just the climbers are left.

About 160 of the bushes were replanted. Come spring visitors can expect to see a redesigned rose garden organized by color.

Grass will be added to widen one pathway, making it easier for lawn mowers to get through.

The question then, what to do with the other rose bushes not transplanted?

Come Sunday they’re for sale–three per bundle for just $15.

Proceeds will go to the Eugene Parks Foundation, which supports Eugene Parks and Open Space.

That money is vital as the city faces what could be more cuts.

The rose sale is Sunday, Feb. 10 at the Owen Rose Garden from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. or while supplies last.

For information contact Lorna Baldwin, Volunteer Coordinator, City of Eugene Parks and Open Space, at (541) 954-1082.

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  1. Taleigh says:

    I don’t believe it. What a waste. Owen Rose Garden has gone from award winning to sad. And until they get someone in there again who knows about roses it won’t change. I’m Sorry Ted, I’m Sorry Glenn, I’m Sorry Paul and Dee. I’m Sorry Members of the Eugene Rose Society. I’m Sorry Roy Hennessy. Your 60+ years of work and dedication have gone down the drain because the city seems to think it’s more important to hire “managers” than people who know how to do the job. Next they will chop down the Cherry Tree because it’s too much trouble to mow around,

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