'You feel like you're somewhere else other than a stadium'

'You feel like you're somewhere else other than a stadium' »Play Video
The Zen North garden at Autzen Stadium. Photo by Tristan Fortsch

EUGENE, Ore. - Two waterfalls and 78,000 plants later, the north slope outside Autzen Stadium looks like a Northwest forest.

"Really this is an embodiment of the state of Oregon and Pacific Northwest," said Craig Pintens, senior associate athletcis director. "You feel like you're somewhere else other than a stadium."

The was the goal of the Zen North Project.

Among the features: two of the tallest manmade waterfalls in North America, and benches made from loal wood.

"Furniture in each lookout area is actually from salvage wood from around the state of Oregon," Pintens said. "As you look around it feels like you're on a butte, and that was one of the features we wanted to create because Oregon and especially Eugene is known for the buttes that we have."

Other elements of the park are more football than foliage, like the stakes chronicling the score of every game ever played at Autzen.

The stakes are painted in the winning team's colors.

"As you go on you start to see more and more yellow," Pintens said. "Obviously the program is in a different place than all the colors of the rainbow we have here at the beginning of the walk."