The Portland Parks Foundation Small Grants Program offers funding to community organizations working to create or care for public parks, park programs, community gardens, and natural areas. The program was established in 2017 thanks to a generous bequest from Nancy Hebb Freeman, an artist, hiker, and lover of Portland parks. Since that time, the Portland Parks Foundation has distributed nine grants from the fund.
This spring PPF is able to award funding to four organizations that are improving access to parks and promoting health, community, and outdoor education throughout our city’s parks. They are:
1. Somali Women Coalition of Portland: $2,500 for “Fit Hooyo’s”
The Somali Women Coalition of Portland is an emerging non-profit that helps low-income Somali women and youth transform their lives through education, skill development, health promotion, and empowerment. The grant will support an 8-week walking program in which participants will be outfitted with sportswear and shoes appropriate for weekly hikes in parks throughout the city of Portland, including Powell Butte, Fernhill Park, Tryon Creek State Natural Area, Mt. Tabor, and Cully Park.
2. CityWildPDX: $2,000 for the “Our Parks, Our Land Community” program
CityWildPDX offers workshops to inspire curiosity in young Portlanders about the natural world through fun, exploration, and hands-on learning. Through this grant, CityWildPDX will offer drop-in workshop at three parks in East Portland—Woodlawn Park, Gateway Discovery Park, and Lents Park—in conjunction with Portland Parks & Recreation’s Free Lunch + Play program.
3. Columbia Slough Watershed Council: $2,000 for Capacity Building
The Columbia Slough Watershed Council protects and enhances the Columbia Slough and its watershed through community engagement, education, and restoration. This grant will support work to create a new website and develop an engagement plan for individual and business donors.
4. Verde: $1,000 in support of “Cully Walking Group: Health and Safety in an Urban Environment”
Verde serves communities by building environmental wealth through social enterprise, outreach, and advocacy. This grant will help fund an exercise program for low-income neighbors of Cully Park, which will help build community and increase neighborhood safety.