PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have formed a partnership with Operation Pitch Invasion (OPI) on a field-building project, Fields For All. The partnership is a collaboration between OPI and the Timbers’ Stand Together community initiative with sponsors adidas, JELD-WEN Windows & Doors, KeyBank, Providence Health & Services and Ross Electric joining to help build youth soccer fields and futsal courts each year in the greater Portland area, it was announced today.

Fields For All aims to identify 'recreation deserts'—that is, communities underserved by recreational activities for kids—and fill them with safe, healthy and high-quality playing surfaces. Its work will focus on areas with open community access and neighborhood support. In addition, the project will target locations in close proximity to schools, youth clubs and recreation centers, providing ongoing programming to support organized and structured play for local area youth.

Kicking off the first of two Fields For All projects is Snake Field at Vance Park in Gresham’s Rockwood neighborhood in 2015. Slated for construction in 2016, King’s Court at King Elementary School is set to be the second of Fields For All’s first two projects.

“As a kid I remember seeing the field locked up. I'm excited to see the space open up to the community so that the neighborhood can have a safe place to play,” said Ricki Ruiz, sport outreach manager for the Rockwood Community Development Corporation. “This will be a location for people to engage in a healthy lifestyle while showing off their soccer skills. As a resident of the Rockwood Neighborhood, I'm so excited to get out there and play.”

“Active Children Portland is humbled to be a part of such a great community-driven project. It stands as a testament that concerned citizens can have a physical impact in this city,” said Jared Hoffman, program manager for AC Portland, which is a founding partner of the Snake Field project. “The space can be used by a variety of groups to run structured and unstructured programs. This space will also give a skilled soccer community a place to showcase their talent. What a great showcase for our kids as to the power that citizen involvement can have in the places where they live.”

Previously, OPI led efforts to build Bless Field—in partnership with 107 Independent Supporters Trust (107ist), the Portland Development Commission, Providence Health & Services, adidas, Widmer Brothers, and the Timbers. Situated adjacent to the Regence Boys and Girls Club and Rosa Parks Elementary School, Bless Field, which was completed in 2014 and is named for pioneering Timbers Army icon Hartmut Bless, is designed for children age 10 and under and is used by a variety of groups that employ sporting and scholastic programs to help children make positive choices. In addition to Bless Field, OPI has worked to repair and maintain fields in more than 20 Portland-area parks and schools.

As part of the 2014 MLS All-Star Game, the Timbers, in conjunction with Major League Soccer, built a new futsal field at Montavilla Park, adjacent to Portland Parks & Recreation’s Montavilla Community Center. Since 2010, the Timbers, in association with local partners, have helped build nine new fields throughout the Portland area.

Stand Together is the Portland Timbers community outreach platform. The team is committed to furthering its community mission to harness the power of sport to improve the lives of children and families in the region through targeted programs, deep partnerships and philanthropic giving. For more information on the Timbers community outreach programs and partners, visit timbers.com/stand-together.

OPI, a project of the 107ist, is a local, grassroots organization formed to build, revitalize and maintain soccer fields throughout the Portland metro area so that players of all ages and skill levels have high quality and safe playing surfaces to enjoy the beautiful game. It is an Oregon public benefit nonmember, nonprofit corporation exempt from tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, for more information visit www.pitch-invasion.org.