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$8,000 and counting: Gateway Green off to quick crowdfunding start

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 5th, 2013 at 11:56 am

Less than a day has passed since the 'Build Gateway Green' crowdfunding campaign began — and it's already raised well over $8,000 in donations from over 60 people. The goal is $100,000 and conventional wisdom dictates that if someone raises 30% of the total in the first week, they are likely to make it all the way.

As we shared yesterday, this public crowdfunding campaign for a state-run project is a first for Oregon (the state is managing the fundraising campaign, but the park will be managed and run by the City of Portland). Governor Kitzhaber's Oregon Solutions team is betting that a new park full of bike trails and other amenities in green-space-starved east Portland will spur enough grassroots donations that institutional funding sources will realize the project is worth investing in.

The goal of the campaign is to fund the final phase of design work that will turn the site's master plan into detailed schematic drawings needed to get permits and construction financing.

Along with the unveiling of their Indiegogo campaign page, Friends of Gateway Green (the folks behind the Build Gateway Green campaign) have released new visualizations of what the bike trails will look like once the 38 acre parcel is fully developed...

And of course there are perks for funders, including this cool new t-shirt...

Go check out the campaign site and consider putting some money into this very worthy cause.

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  • davemess September 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Uphill technical sections in Portland?!?!?!?! Yes please!

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  • Charley September 5, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    $21,740 at 11:53 this morning! I think the best case for this whole scenario (in relation to the Forest Park controversy) is that an outpouring of vocal advocates putting up their own money convinces Amanda Fritz and other powers-that-be of the value of dirt riding in Portland. Money talks. Hopefully this kind of money will talk to the right people, and push us over the Marcy Houle and Audobon Society opposition. I just wish they'd remember to fight the big polluting businesses, and not other environmentalists.

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  • Jim Labbe September 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Folks should know that the Phase 1 of the Gateway Green project would connect to and put in place the upper terminus of the Sullivan's Gulch Trail providing a key connection under the freeways to East Portland. This will help expand the constituency for completing this important active transportation corridor that will some day link East Portland to Downtown.

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    • Craig September 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      I did not know that, and that is awesome!

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    • Chris I September 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      That would be fantastic. Getting the trail built from NE Jonesmore St. (just west of 82nd) to Fremont east of 102nd would be a huge improvement for cycling in the Gateway area. The connections over I-205 are so terrible in this area.

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      • A.K. September 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm

        Yeah, riding up over the Halsey overpass on the sidewalk then having to wait for a light, THEN bike through the parking lot of a shopping center, THEN FINALLY going through the TC is less-than-ideal for accessing the 205 path.

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  • Craig September 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Fingers crossed that this project gets funded and built. The lack of close-in mountain biking is the only downside to living the bike-life in Portland.

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  • Brian September 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Excellent! I am seeing signs of this fundraiser all over the place. I am stoked to see all cyclists getting behind this.

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  • Brian September 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Almost $23k already. Keep spreading the word, everyone.

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  • Beth September 5, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Am I the only one who wonders why a Public works project needs to be financed through crowdfunding? I'm glad to live in a place where people support the creation of more greenspace within city limits. But I also worry that we're seeing what could become a trend that could result in essential services and education relying on similar approaches to funding as the system goes more and more broke. Note that I'm still paying taxes while these and other "public" services are being funded by ever-shrinking tax revenues. I applaud the public spirit of this effort, but worry that increased use of this option is simply enabling us as a society to dig an even bigger hole for the future.

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    • Brian September 5, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      This Public works project isn't being funded though Crowdfunding. One aspect of the project is being supported by donations. -"turning the existing master plan into the schematic designs needed to obtain building permits and construction financing."
      Many things in the Parks system are supported/partially supported through additional donations by us rather than solely relying on existing taxes. Concerts in the Park. Movies in the Park. Play structures.

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    • gutterbunnybikes September 5, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      I kind of like the fact that the community can fund their own projects in their neighborhoods, I mean why not. I'd hate to see this style of funding replace current public funding, but I doubt that will happen...too many fingers in that cookie jar to close the lid.

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      • davemess September 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm

        Because then you only have park infrastructure going in where neighborhoods can afford it (sorry east Portland)

        (and before you reply that this project is in east Portland, I think we can all mostly agree that this project is just tapping into the intense desire for ANY more mountain bike access in Portland, and not indicative of a true altruistic spirit)

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        • Brian September 6, 2013 at 1:27 pm

          Yeah, because the wealthy never donate to causes that do not directly benefit them.

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          • davemess September 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm

            and yet we still have VAST inequality in the country.

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    • Jim Labbe September 5, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      Beth,

      Yours is definitely a valid concern. Parks budgets are constantly under threat and we need to constantly be building broad public support for forward thinking public park investments that previous generations made. However, this crowd funding campaign is not a substitute but a complementing to doing exactly that. In the end of the day, Gateway Green will still be largely be built and maintained with public funds raised from voter-approved park bonds and levies measures (and hopefully some State lottery funds dedicated to parks). But to make Gateway Green a public funding priority, we need to demonstrate community support and seed the effort with private funds to detail a credible plan. That is the goal of this crowd funding campaign.

      The emergence of private fundraising efforts like this is more of an indication of the increased sophistication by which ordinary Portlanders are helping driving public spending priorities, especially in parks and greenspaces. The day in which professional park planners and city politicians make funding and construction decisions from City Hall is past. Increasing City staff, elected officials, and residents are collaborating together to expand and maintain Portland's spectacular Park system.

      Anyway... that's how I'd answer your excellent question.

      Jim

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      • Frank Selker September 6, 2013 at 8:22 am

        There are pros and cons to this effort, but It's good for folks to know why Jim Labbe, of Portland Audubon, who's mission is to "promote the understanding, enjoyment, and protection of native birds, other wildlife, and their habitats" supports this.

        To keep us out of Forest Park.

        Back in '07 he said: "There may indeed be opportunities for expanding some access for mountain bikes ... in degraded areas"

        In '08 he said we need to be : "... expanding the park system to accommodate single-track OUTSIDE our existing protected natural areas. The Gateway Green project you mentioned is a great start in that direction."

        And in '09 he said about FP "[I would] rather focus on projects like Gateway Green ... for new single track trails".

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        • dave September 6, 2013 at 9:42 am

          Maybe you should just change your screenname to "Jim Labbe Is A Big Meanie". It would save you a lot of typing in the long run, and you could post about something else without missing an opportunity to grouse.

          Get it? Audubon? Grouse? I kill me...

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          • Darcelle September 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm

            The more Frank rants the more I wonder if his paranoid attacks are not in fact part of the reason efforts in Forest Park are going now where. He sucks all the air out of the room and with it a lot of good will and spirit of compromise.

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            • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm

              Go easy on Frank you guys. I understand how he is coming off; but I also know him and I can relate to his experience. He cares very deeply about this debate and about improving bicycle access in Forest Park. He singlehandedly led the charge (read my archives) and pushed the issue further than it had ever gotten before. Then politics, the media, and the opposition stepped in and it all got very messy. He's frustrated. But he's still a good guy. Let's cut him some slack. Thanks.

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              • dave September 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm

                Fair enough!

                But I'll go all Sun Tzu - if you think you know what your enemy is planning, you don't advertise the fact. You find a way to counter it, and use it against them. If anti-FP MTB folks think giving us a bike park in East Portland will keep us out of Forest Park, let them give it to us. Just make sure they give it to us in a way that undermines their own cause - by proving we can improve the natural environment, provide countless dedicated volunteers for maintenance and upkeep, and win hearts and minds at the Parks Department.

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              • Frank Selker September 6, 2013 at 10:37 pm

                Re-read my post Dave and Darcelle - it's only Jim's quotes. If citing his words is attacking him, then I guess you don't like his words. If you love GG, go for it, give money. But know who's with you on it and why.

                Thanks Jonathan, but I'm fine. I heard much worse at all those meetings. As for the spirit of good will and compromise, If you had attended the meetings you would have witnessed who sucked those out of the room. It was not cyclists.

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      • Beth September 9, 2013 at 11:21 am

        You sort of had me until you described the crowdfunding as indicative of "increased sophistication on the part of ordinary Portlanders". I 'm not sure that I'd consider crowdfunding to be sophisticated; indeed, it's merely a fancy, electronified form of passing the hat. Unless you Forshee a future where crowdfunding becomes the new entry fee to meaningful public discourse -- a potential prospect that I find chilling.
        All of this is potential, of course, out here in the future somewhere -- I only fear that it could lead to a widening of then gap between those who have enough means to connect directly with civic structures, and those who are disenfranchised from them. I see it as a slippery slope.

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    • Hugh Johnson September 6, 2013 at 6:06 am

      Beth what you really should be asking is why are you paying more and more taxes and the city still is broke. Voting apparently gets us nowhere in Portlandia. Meet the new boss...same as the old boss.

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    • wsbob September 10, 2013 at 1:03 am

      "Am I the only one who wonders why a Public works project needs to be financed through crowdfunding? ..." Beth

      Not 'a' public works project, but perhaps crowd-funding can be a helpful way to give some indication of what interest exists for the intended purpose 'this' particular public works project would be dedicated to serve.

      Crowd-funding seems to have some potential to attract attention to and support for various ventures and projects that otherwise may never see the light of day because they're obscure or lack broad consumer or public support.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Oregon Mamacita September 6, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Love this idea. Will donate.

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