OPI volunteers hit posts in nine Portland parks

On Saturday, before it got too hot, 30-odd volunteers joined OPI and Portland Parks in sprucing up the soccer fields at nine parks all over the city. Meeting at Delta Park, the group was divided into small teams that were assigned to work at Ed Benedict, Bloomington, Clinton, Delta, Fernhill, Gabriel, Pier, Powell and Westmoreland Parks. At each park, goal frames were given a fresh coat of paint, top-to-bottom.

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After finishing, the teams reconvened at Delta Park for a barbecue lunch put on for us by the Parks folks. Thanks to Steve Pixley and Shawn Lindsey of Portland Parks. And thanks, of course, to all our volunteers. Projects like this are the foundation of Operation Pitch Invasion, the sort of thing that started us, and the sort of thing we will always do.

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Our next field day is August 23, at Rigler School in NE Portland, where we will do a complete refurbish of the field itself.

Details and sign-up form can be found here: http://ow.ly/zF9J6

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Bless Field Update

We are overdue for an update about our Bless Field project. So let’s get to it.

  • Beating Seattle. Our kickoff event, Beating Seattle Never Gets Old: A Benefit for Bless Field was a huge success. Close to 250 supporters came out to the Hollywood Theater to relive some classic Timbers moments from the past and hear from the players that lived that history including Willie Anderson, Bernie Fagan, Roger Goldingay, Mick Hoban, Bill Irwin and Jimmy Kelly. Beating Seattle raised over $3,500 and much more in awareness for the Bless Field project.

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  • Art Takeover. You all remember the amazing Factory North event Art Takeover poster project last year benefitting Harper’s Playground? Well Art Takeover is back for 2013 and its looking to be bigger and better than ever. This year’s event is scheduled for August 10 and will feature limited-run felt pennants featuring designs inspired by Timbers Army songs, past and present. In addition, a number of large-scale, Portland inspired flags will be sold by auction. Sponsorship and support from the 107 Independent Supporter’s Trust, Coava Coffee, Salt & Straw, Widmer, Actual Industries, Seizure Palace and many more promise to make for an awesome way to support Bless Field.

  • Construction Update. Even though fundraising is far from complete, we’ve already begun investing your donation into Bless Field. Before construction can begin, we had to complete a survey of the site as well as a geotechnical soil analysis. The results of these two efforts will be used by our architecture firm, Group Mackenzie, to develop detailed construction designs that the contractor will use to build the field. Both these steps are complete and details construction drawings are underway. If you’ve been by the field in the last few weeks you may have noticed some work happening on the East side of the lot. This work relates to the bike hub and training paths operated by the Community Cycling Center and should not affect Bless Field.

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  • Bless Book. To assist help get the word out about Bless Field, OPI developed a interactive iBook packed with photos, videos and information about the project. If you have an iPad, you can download it for free from the Apple iBookstore. If you don’t have an iPad, you can get all the same information (without the fun videos, pictures and interactive features) in this PDF. Feel free to share this link with your friends and co-workers who are interested in learning more about Bless Field: http://bit.ly/BlessBook.

  • Park Project Update. Unrelated to Bless Field, we’ve completed two park repair events so far this summer in Willamette Park and Lents Park. We’ve also supported field and grounds restoration work by the Timbers Army Football Club at Marshall High School and Franklin High School. We’ve even acquired some line-painting equipment to get those newly refinished pitches looking sharp prior to match day. While we had to drop our planned June park event due to City budget constraints, we are still hoping for another event late in the summer.

Expect to hear more in coming weeks about Art Takeover. Thanks for all your support. As usual, you can keep up with us on Twitter @opipdx or by keeping an eye on our blog.

Goal! Painted - OPI Restores Goal Equipment with PPR

On August 5, a blistering Sunday morning, some four dozen Operation Pitch Invasion volunteers descended on a Portland Parks and Recreation storage facility in SE Portland to restore several score soccer goals to shiny, playable condition. In the course of about 4 hours, the OPI crew sorted, scraped, repainted and stored away approximately 75 goals (1 crossbar and 2 stanchions each), creating glistening white equipment where there was once a pile of rusted, dingy metal. The goals will now be used throughout the PPR soccer field inventory for the upcoming soccer season.

These repairs make the equipment look great, yes, but this wasn't just a cosmetic touch-up job. The restoration extends the life of the equipment as well. But that said, there's something nice about showing up to play a seeing the goals looking fresh.

The PPR crew laid out a barbecue lunch for the OPI volunteers, who gobbled burgers and hot dogs before rushing off to Jeld-Wen Field and the Timbers match. A job well done and a memorable day.

OPI will be back in action on August 25, restoring the fields at Clinton park. Details and volunteer sign-ups soon to be announced.

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Completed! Bloomington Park

On June 30, Operation Pitch Invasion rehabilitated the soccer fields at Bloomington Park in SE Portland in a quick morning's work. Under the supervision of Portland Parks and Recreation employees, 50-plus Timbers Army, 107ist members and OPI volunteers filled potholes, spread grass seed, repainted goal posts and replaced and repaired a couple dozen sprinkler heads. The Parks crew were deeply impressed with the speed and quality of the work -- "this would have taken us weeks," they said repeatedly -- and were grateful for care which they said would actually improve the facility in the long run.

OPI has a few more invasions planned in its Summer 2012 Campaign, as well as a day of painting and repairing goal structures currently houses at a Portland Parks equiment facility. Keep these dates on your calendar - details to be announced closer to the event.

  • Sunday, August 5. Equipment improvement. Dallas at Portland at 4:00.
  • Saturday, August 25. Park improvement. Vancouver at Portland at 7:30
  • Saturday, September 22. Park improvement. Salt Lake away at 5:00
  • The best way to stay up to date on our events is to subscribe to our mailing list (see signup widget at the bottom of the page)! We won’t spam you and you can unsubscribe at any time.

James John Elementary - July 23 & 30, 2011

In cooperation with AC Portland and Depave, OPI gathered up the Timbers Army and members of the community to help with this depaving and field installation project in St. Johns. OPI helped with asphalt removal and landscaping in anticipation of the installation of an artificial turf field at James John Elementary School.


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A big thanks to Depave, AC Portland, James John PTA, St Johns Main Street Coalition and others for (de)paving the for a pitch installation at this location!! See photos and more at Depave's website.

Ed Benedict Park - July 16, 2011

OPI's first project was a shovel-ready half-day restoration of two pitches at Portland's Ed Benedict Park on Saturday, July 16. For this inaugural project, volunteers came exclusively from OPI's partner organization, the 107 Independent Supporters Trust. The event was a great success. With help from volunteers and Portland Parks and Recreation, OPI

  • repaired the previously inoperable irrigation systems on two pitches
  • leveled, fertilized and seeded one rutted and bumpy pitch
  • restored the goal box areas on two pitches

Most notably, this work returned a pitch to service that was previously unplayable, literally making more fields available for Portlanders to enjoy the beautiful game.

Thanks again to 107ist, Portland Parks and Recreation and the Timbers Army for making the Ed Benedict Park project and OPI a reality. We look forward to repairing more of our City’s pitches with you, one at a time!

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Ed Benedict Park Project Completed!

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Thank You!

Yesterday, volunteers from the 107 Independent Supporters Trust and employees from Portland Parks and Recreation gathered to restore two pitches in Ed Benedict Park in the inaugural event for Operation Pitch Invasion. The event was a great success. With your help, OPI

  • repaired the previously inoperable irrigation systems on two pitches
  • leveled, fertilized and seeded one rutted and bumpy pitch
  • restored the goal box areas on two pitches

Most notably, your work today returned a pitch to service that was previously unplayable, literally making more fields available for Portlanders to enjoy the beautiful game. Thank you!

Our work isn't done. As many of you know, OPI is helping 107ist and AC Portland with a major project at James John Elementary and we need your help! We ask that you join us next Saturday, July 23, to help with removal and disposal of asphalt brownies as we turn pavement into a pitch. We have arranged a post work party at St Johns Pub to watch the Timbers take on the Crew. Visit the OPI website for more information or sign up to volunteer!

Thanks again to 107ist, Portland Parks and Recreation and the Timbers Army for making today's work and OPI a reality. We look forward to repairing more of our City's pitches with you, one at a time.