Post by Jocelyn Gaudi – Board member, Friends of Gateway Green
Dirt Lab [noun] \dert\ᐧ \lab\: A community crowdfunded project to develop mountain biking and hiking trails at Gateway Green, while improving environmental quality at the park and encouraging civic and economic revitalization in East Portland.
For more than ten years, a group of community advocates, the Friends of Gateway Green (FoGG), have been busily working toward the realization of a world-class recreation destination in East Portland. The formal location of the Rocky Butte Jail, Gateway Green is one of Portland’s newest parks – 25 acres of unused open space that will be developed into a dynamic and sustainable recreation space for locals and visitors alike while helping restore the natural habitat and demonstrate green park technology. The cornerstone of Gateway Green will be its off-road cycling facilities – Portland’s first bike park.
Back in 2013, the FoGG reached out to the greater Portland community for financial assistance to fund a professional designed park master plan – a plan that would be beneficial in their work to secure major grant funds. Many NWTA members contributed to that campaign and it was a great success! Thanks in large part to that achievement, Metro Council awarded FoGG with a $1 million Nature in Neighborhood capital grant in July 2014. That grant came with a 2:1 match challenge – and the Friends have been busy applying for grants to meet that goal.
Now, it’s crunch time. The deadline for FoGG to achieve the match is approaching quickly and they’re again reaching out to the community for help to get them over the top of the grant goal. The good news is that with YOUR donation, the Friends of Gateway Green can begin construction on Dirt Lab as soon as this fall!
What is Dirt Lab? Exactly as it sounds, Dirt Lab is all of the foundational elements of Gateway Green. It’s our neighborhood dirt pile, a dynamic unique space, a community driven project that is the starting point for Portland’s first off-road cycling park. FoGG will be building singletrack and jump trails, a pumptrack and a skills area to offer a range of cycling experiences to local and visiting riders. Fogg will hire professional builders to guide our development and engage the Portland riding community to volunteer their time and energy to build the cycling features.
In addition, the successful funding of Dirt Lab will help FoGG leverage the Metro grant monies in full – so that they can work toward fully developing Gateway Green. A matched challenge grant would allow them to progress toward the four key goals of the park: to provide open space for recreation and connectivity; to improve the environmental quality of the park; to promote economic development in East Portland; and provide the East Portland neighborhoods with a cornerstone, identifying space that would attract locals and visitors to enjoy. Read their full Vision Plan to learn more.
Please consider giving to the cause to develop the Dirt Lab @ Gateway Green.Thank you for all you do to support making Gateway Green a reality – and thank you for helping the Friends of Gateway Green start building this fall! Please share this crowdfunding campaign with your friends and family – even if you aren’t able to give, sharing helps to spread the word!