Dirt Lab

The idea for Gateway Green began over 10 years ago and is now coming to reality. What started as an inspired idea to bring an underutilized property into active use, has grown to become the Gateway Green Initiative, involving dozens of community activists, local and state agencies, non-profits and a broad list of stakeholders.

The ultimate vision for Gateway Green is to build a community and regional asset, integrating active recreation and habitat preservation, in the form of a unique park in the heart of East Portland.

This ambitious project took another leap forward on February 21, 2017 when over 140 cycling enthusiasts, neighbors, park supporters and others came together for the Big Dig @DirtLab, a community event aimed at improving what is a rapidly growing network of trails which are quickly becoming the backbone of the park.

Dirt Lab @ Gateway Green is a community crowdfunded project to develop mountain biking and hiking trails at Gateway Green. The project is being spearheaded by FoGG, Northwest Trail Alliance and their partner Portland Parks & Recreation. Funds for the project were raised by FoGG during a crowdfunding campaign in October of 2016, which successfully raised over $110,000. Those funds, and additional funds made available by PP&R are being used to develop the trail network and improve the park.  

During the Big Dig event, volunteers picked up trash, pulled invasive ivy and improved the trails in advance of the Dirt Lab Grand opening event scheduled for June 24th. With wheelbarrows, rakes, and shovels, volunteers hauled materials, cleared vegetation and shaped the trails in preparation for a busy summer of riding, kids camps, community events and overall good fun!

The event was hosted by FoGG and Northwest Trail Alliance, the local chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). NWTA and IMBA have collaborated on a number of projects including the extremely popular Sandy Ridge trail system located in Brightwood, OR. IMBA has extensive experience designing and building trails and bike parks around the world and NWTA has an arsenal of equipment, tools and volunteers that are a huge resource deployed toward building and maintaining trails throughout NW Oregon and SW Washington.

This event was the first of many, and demonstrated the excitement and enthusiasm behind this exciting project. For updates on future work parties, the grand opening event, and programming activities, subscribe to the FoGG and NWTA newsletters.