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Dirt Lab @ Gateway Green

Dirt Lab @ Gateway Green

It’s crunch time and Dirt Lab at Gateway Green needs you!   Three years ago, the community got this project started by funding plans and design work. Now, if you can help put us over the top, we can break ground this fall! 

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. 

What is Gateway Green?

Gateway Green is located between I-205 (to the west) and I-84 (to the east) in East Portland's Gateway area (NE Halsey Street is at the southern edge). If you've ever taken the MAX from the airport towards downtown Portland, you've passed right by this area. Or if you've ever gone rock climbing on Rocky Butte, it's just across the highway to the east.  It was once part of Multnomah County's Rocky Butte Jail property and now lies fallow and unused, but we’re getting ready to build a multi-use park with unique mountain bike features.  And we want you to discover Gateway Green - by foot, by bike, by MAX.  There is our change to recycle a long fallow parcel of public right of way into a regional recreation destination. . . in the most park deficient area of the entire region.

Site of Gateway Green in East Portland

Where we are now - and what we need

A few years ago generous community members came together to fund the designs were needed to obtain building permits and public funding for the whole park. And guess what? Because of the demonstrated support from hundreds of people, Metro awarded Gateway Green a grant of $1 million if we can raise a matching amount. And now we need to finish raising the funds to meet that match so we can start building.

Your donation to this crowdfund will catalyze construction of off-road bicycle trails and skills area this fall, while helping us meet our match. So, every dollar also builds natural areas, walking and hiking paths, nature play areas, and provides a places for bike camps and environmental education for kids of all ages and cultures. East Portland is one of the most diverse of our neighborhoods and is attracting families of all ages and cultures. It is also one of the most park deficient areas in Portland. Gateway Green will improve access to parks, nature, and activities to keep our community physically, socially, and environmentally healthy and vibrant.

This is Dirt Lab@Gateway Green.

Conceptual plans for Gateway Green


Ready to dig in the dirt

With your help, we can start construction this fall!

What is Dirt Lab @ Gateway Green?

We are creating a dynamic destination for our community to get kids and adults outside to explore nature, play, learn, socialize, and ride bikes. 

Dirt Lab is all of the foundational elements of Gateway Green - it’s the new neighborhood dirt pile, the place you played as a kid.  Like Gateway Green itself, these features are dynamic and fluid, and the trails, jumps, and tracks can grow, change and move as the whole park is developed. Gateway Green will create new homes for bees, bugs, birds, and bikes in Portland's most nature-deficient neighborhood.

Possible precast concrete pump track for Dirt Lab

A potential component for Dirt Lab - a precast concrete pump track from Modular Pumptrack

Bird watching at Gateway Green

Be part of something that will last generations

We’ve worked to create a design for Gateway Green that will provide much-needed open and recreational space in East Portland. Gateway Green's open grasslands present an opportunity to enhance and create some of the rarest bird habitats in region - where birds, bikes, and bi-peds can thrive together.

The Community Cycling Center is ready to teach and support every kid who wants to ride.  They just need a place—and Gateway Green is that place, for East Portland and the whole region.

This is a place where the next generation of mountain bikers catches the bug.  This is a place for East Portlanders to celebrate green space in their part of the city.  This is a place for the whole region. 

Be part of something that will last for generations and help us all get riding and playing at Gateway Green this fall!


A rendering of the future Gateway Green

Gateway Green Cyclocross Event rider

November 2014 CycloCross event at Gateway Green


What's new / different with this crowdfund vs. the 2013 "Build Gateway Green" crowdfund?

In 2013 we crowdfunded for the plans and designs for the park.  We needed these so we could apply for funding from public and other sources - and we did! Because of this support, Metro awarded us a matching grant.  Now, we're in a position to start building actual elements of the park.  And we need to finish raising the matching funds for the Metro grant.  This crowdfund will get us there.  In 2013, some of you asked if you could start building.  This fall, with this raise, you can.

How much money do you need to raise?

If we hit this goal, we will be able to reach $3 million (in cash or in-kind) with a combination of funding from multiple places. 

When can we start using / playing at / biking at /enjoying Gateway Green?

This fall - if we're successful with this crowdfund. 

I've got a shovel - can I start building at Gateway Green?

We'll be using a combination of professional folks and volunteers to build out elements of the park.  Stay tuned for volunteer building opportunities - we anticipate late October or early November.  Check out Friends of Gateway Green's website or Facebook for updates.

Thank you!

Thank you for all you do to support making Gateway Green a reality - and helping us start building this fall!  Please share this crowdfunding campaign with your friends - even if you aren't able to give, sharing helps us spread the word.

Supporter Thank yous

We've got a number of ways to celebrate Dirt Lab @ Gateway Green - and to thank you for supporting this crowdfunded project!  For anyone who gives, we'll thank you on the Friends of Gateway Green website.

Mary Lytle, a local illustrator, has generously donated her time and skills and built upon work by long-time Gateway Green volunteer and local designer Christopher Masciocchi to create designs for an enamel pin, a t-shirt, and a print!  Check out the sketches below.

Sketches (final design in process)

Video Production: Meredith Lawrence 

Music: "Unexpected Hoedown in Bagging Area" by Doctor Turtle.