The Portland Parks Foundation has a mission to mobilize, “financial and popular support to ensure a thriving and accessible parks system for a healthy Portland.” In short, “The foundation lives to provide an opportunity for unique projects that the parks department couldn’t necessarily do alone,” says Jessica Green, Administrative Officer for the Foundation.

City parks serve an important role in the lives of any urban dweller. Much like spending time in the wilderness, the city park system serves many functions in our daily lives. “For the health of the human being, to be connected to nature on a daily basis is critical,” says Jessica. Reserving space for parks and connection to nature, for physical and emotional health, is so important! It’s also an opportunity for the community to engage with one another and gives people some ownership into something other than their own living space.

Their biggest role is in elevating the current park program through private funding as well as mobilizing popular support via volunteerism. This gives all of us an opportunity to, “be a participant in developing the Portland Park system. People can choose [which project] they want their money to go.” Creating opportunities to serve is one of the reasons we’re partnering with them this year.

On a personal level, I am deeply appreciative of the park system and go there almost daily with my kids. Since we have no yard, it serves that purpose, and so much more!

Current Projects

If you’d like to get involved, here are a few projects the Foundation is currently focused on (click here to see the most up to date).

The Footbridge over Burnside in Forest Park is a project that should excite any runner!

“Portland’s 30-mile Wildwood Trail suffers a major flaw: its crossing at Burnside Road. With an average 18,000 vehicles passing daily, hikers are forced to dodge traffic in their pursuit of nature. The Footbridge over Burnside would enhance access to nature by making this crossing safe. The Portland Parks Foundation is spearheading the effort to build a bridge at this intersection before a serious tragedy occurs. A committee of local citizens is leading the effort to make this project possible.”

The Cully Park project, on Portland’s Eastside, is transforming a former landfill into a huge park.

“Led by nonprofit partner Verde, ‘Let Us Build Cully Park!’ transforms a former landfill into a new 25 acre park for Portland’s most diverse, park-deprived neighborhood. The Cully Park project supports cultural expression, educates youth, restores habitat, provides local green job and business opportunities, and establishes a community-based model for developing green infrastructure.”

Watch The Full Interview Here!

Join us for a Run and Get Involved!

10% of the proceeds from our events go, in part, to support the Portland Parks Foundation. When you register for one of our events, use coupon code pdxparks20 to get 20% off your entry.