OPI and Portland Timbers form Fields For All
The long and fruitful relationship between OPI and the Portland Timbers' Stand Together community program has led to the creation of Fields For All, a new field-building initiative that harnesses the resources of the two groups. Read the official press release.
Below is a FAQ explaining the origins and purpose of Fields For All and how it affects the other projects that OPI and Stand Together have become known for.
1)What is fields for all?
Fields For All is a collaborative initiative between Operation Pitch Invasion and the Portland Timbers' Stand Together program that will build soccer fields and futsal courts in what we think of as "recreation deserts"—communities that are under-served by recreational opportunities for kids.
2) Why was Fields For All created?
Both OPI and Stand Together have worked busily in the past five years to build new fields in the Portland area, with three notable projects coming to fruition in 2014: OPI's Bless Field soccer pitch and Col. Summers Park futsal court, our first two from-scratch works; and Stand Together's Montavilla Community Center futsal field, the tenth such field that Stand Together has helped create in the area. During that time, the two groups came to realize that we were sometimes doubling up on one another's work (though never stepping on one another's toes!). Combing forces in a single initiative would blend our fundraising and field-building capacities in such a way as to build more fields faster and have a greater impact in the community. After several collaborative talks, Fields For All was born.
3) How does Fields For All work?
Fields For All isn't a grant program—it's a field-building initiative. Together, representatives of OPI and Stand Together will choose projects for Fields For All, some identified by Fields For All itself, some based on submissions from community groups seeking to build soccer and futsal facilities. The emphasis will be on project areas with with high local demand, community backing, available land, nearby community resources (schools, recreation centers, etc.) and open access to the finished facility.
4) Where will fields for all work?
The first two Fields For All projects have been identified. In 2015, a high-quality futsal court, to be known as Snake Field, will be built in Vance Park, in the Rockwood community of Gresham. In 2016, another large futsal surface, to be known as King Court, will be built at King School Park in Northeast Portland. In both cases, community groups led the initiative to renovate surfaces that had fallen into disrepair, and Fields For All stepped in to help turn the dreams of new courts into realities. Fields For All is currently seeking ideas and locations for future work.
5) How can I submit an idea for a Fields For All project?
Communities interested in developing a youth-sized soccer field or futsal court should complete the Project Identification Form. This is not an application, but a means for local soccer communities to help us identify projects for consideration.
6) What about OPI's traditional roll-up-your-sleeves work in parks and schools?
Nothing has changed or will change in that regard—ever. Operation Pitch Invasion was formed as a hands-on group marshaling the muscle of the Timbers Army to improve the quality of soccer fields in Portland parks and schools and it will always be that. Fields For All is geared toward enhancing another of OPI's initiatives—field-building—by combining our fund-raising, networking, trouble-shooting resources and expertise with those of Stand Together. Both OPI's field days and Stand Together's many community outreach programs will continue as before.
7) How can I help/learn more/get involved in OPI and/or Fields For All?
There are lots of ways to stay up-to-date on and support Fields For All and OPI’s other activities: