'Forest' takes root at Autzen

EUGENE, Ore. -- Trekking up the stairs of Autzen will actually resemble a hike in the woods at the end of August as landscape architects bring the forests of Oregon to the stadium.

Cameron McCarthy Landscape Architects in Eugene said the $5 million project will give fans the full Oregon experience.

The project will lead stadium-goers to their seats with a series of ramps and stairs that weave through dozens of trees ranging from 25 to 40 feet tall.

Landscape architect Larry Gilbert said Cameron McCarthy wants the project to distinguish Autzen as unique to Oregon. 

“It didn't talk about what it's like to be an Oregonian or what it's like to be in Oregon,” said Gilbert. “And that's what this space was designed to create. Kinda capture the feel and character of northwest Oregon landscape."

Cameron McCarthy worked with the same Nike designer who came up with the "Deep in the Woods" themed court at Matthew Knight Arena.

The $5 million for the project was donated by Phil Knight. Gilbert said the construction is supposed to be finished in time for football season.