Portland Trails receives $75K grant to support projects in Bayside neighborhoods and launches a new mission.
Boston-based Jane’s Trust awarded Portland Trails $75K last week to fuel community driven placemaking projects in the Bayside and East Bayside neighborhoods. Engaging in collaborative community projects for revitalizing public spaces is part of Portland Trails new mission, which the organization recently adopted after accomplishing its prior mission in late 2014.
“It is notable for a non-profit to accomplish its mission, and Portland Trails has done it twice!” says Executive Director Kara Wooldrik, “We are excited to focus on strategic priorities that build on our successes and continue to create a healthier Greater Portland through community driven change.”
Portland Trails serves the 230,000 residents in Greater Portland and millions of its visitors by building and maintaining a network of trails that connects people, nature, and neighborhoods. In 2006, Portland Trails achieved its first mission of building a 30 mile trail network, and adopted a second mission that recognized the trails as an important means of commuting and transportation for residents and visitors alike. Since 2006, the organization has grown the trail network to reach within a half mile of every residence in Portland, increased the network to 70 miles and over 1 million trail users per year, cultivated over 2000 corporate and individual volunteers, and extended its reach across multiple communities. Upon fulfilling its second mission this past year, board and staff members crafted a new mission to guide their future work.
“Portland Trails transforms Greater Portland into a healthier community for people-powered transportation, conservation, and recreation by creating and maintaining a network of trails and green spaces that connects people with places.”
The recent Jane’s Trust grant is a vote of confidence in this new mission. In 2010, Jane’s Trust was among the many partners integral in building the Bayside Trail. The new $75K grant will support projects deeply aligned with Portland Trails’ new mission including the enhancement and activation of shared public spaces such as parks, sidewalks, and trails to increase the livability and connectivity in the Bayside and East Bayside neighborhoods.
As part of its focus on placemaking, Portland Trails brings a collaborative, grassroots, neighborhood-level approach to these projects, and will partner with residents, neighborhood organizations, the City of Portland, and numerous local businesses and community groups. The grant supports community meetings, events, and volunteer work days to provide opportunities for local input and investment in trail construction and new projects. East Bayside business owner, Heather Sanborn of Rising Tide Brewing Company says, “We have witnessed a dramatic transformation of this neighborhood over the past three years. It is now a vibrant place where tourists and locals alike stroll between food and beverage producers and among artists’ studios every day of the week. These Portland Trails projects will further enhance our unique neighborhood.”
Beyond building safer streets and neighborhoods, Portland Trails embraces the diversity of Bayside and East Bayside as it grows culturally and economically, and seeks to bring the community together through events and public spaces that foster neighborhood-wide identity. Says Wooldrik, “Portland Trails wants to help residents and local businesses create the experiences and destinations in their neighborhoods. People who build a place with their own hands feel a sense of ownership, and that creates a more healthy, active and empowered community.”