(Image courtesy of Bike List)

The City of Portland has a national reputation as one of the most sustainability minded spaces in the country. This commitment to sustainability is evident in the dozens of greenspaces scattered across the city. Friends of Gateway Green is a local non-profit looking to demonstrate Portland and Oregon’s commitment to building sustainable recreational greenspaces.

Formed as an Oregon nonprofit corporation in 2009, Friends of Gateway Green (FoGG) strives to promote the transformation of under-used, neglected, publicly-owned property into a regional asset that provides open space and recreational opportunities, while improving access to both and demonstrating Portland’s and Oregon’s commitment to sustainability.

Friends of Gateway Green‘s latest project lies on 25 acres of unused open space located in East Portland on the site of the former Rocky Butte Jail. Portland Parks and Recreation purchased this land with intention of creating a sustainable recreation space for cyclists, hikers and children while helping to restore the natural habitat and demonstrating new green park technology.

Some of the goals of this organization are: to connect neighborhoods to each other and to open spaces. This provides recreational opportunities with a strong focus on a variety of off-road cycling experiences. They also aim to improve environmental quality and showcase new green park technologies. Developing a sense of place and identity for East Portland is also a long term goal. FoGG also strives to promote investment in East Portland and economic development in Oregon, while providing a kick-start for the Gateway Regional Center.

Coming up on Saturday June 24th, FoGG and TriMet present Gathering at Gateway Green featuring the Dirt Lab. This event takes place from 11am to 4pm and will be the grand opening of the first portion of the park. This portion includes the newly completed mountain biking trails, aka the Dirt Lab. The event promises to be an exciting afternoon for bikers and non-bikers alike.

If you’d like to volunteer at Friends of Gateway Green you can contact them here.

This week at Portland Radio Project we feature the Friends of Gateway Green as part of our award-winning Community Voices series. You can listen below to interviews with key members of the organization:

Ross Swanson, Portland Parks & Rec.

Ted Gilbert, Friends of Gateway Green

Chelsea Hendrikx, Northwest Outward Bound School