The Beech-Failing Alley Project
Our project aims to reclaim and renew our highly public alley, with special focus on placemaking and environmental stewardship, while advocating for citywide Portland alley greening and activation policy.
“Greening and activating” alleys is a way of reclaiming neglected municipal infrastructure, with special focus on placemaking and environmental stewardship. These benefits are realized through vital improvements like watershed management, plantings, benches, art, garden plots, pavers, bicycle racks and other landscape features that create a park-like setting. These improvements can also facilitate pedestrian and bicycle throughways, neighborhood retreats, efficient ADU housing or small business and cultural districts.
Although this movement is progressing in cities across the United States, the City of Portland Oregon has yet to join the effort.
Since beginning our mission March 2016, we’ve gathered $4,670 in-kind assistance. We now need to raise $10,000 to cover the cost of professional grantwriting services, professional outreach services, and professional technical services for 2016. We’ve carefully identified, researched, and set our sights on five separate grant opportunities available in the next six months. Each of these grant programs focuses either on help advocating for policy change, or funding for activities in alignment with our improvement goals onsite.
If this crowdfunding campaign surpasses our goal, we’ll work with other civic organizations to share up to $10,000 additional funds with one or more lower income residential neighborhood groups for alley improvements, as they meet benchmarks such as cooperative alley clean-up.
If this crowdfunding campaign surpasses $20,000: the funds beyond $20,000 will be held in trust by a 501c3 fiscal sponsor as matching funds in pending grant applications for funding to significantly improve our highly public alley with special focus on placemaking and environmental stewardship.
why we’re doing it
Currently, if a group of Portland neighbors wants to significantly improve an alley with special focus on placemaking and environmental stewardship, it is prohibitively complicated and expensive; with little local precedent, no city policy to guide or facilitate their effort, and no clear incentive for neighboring developers to assist them. Just the professional surveying of a Portland alley can cost over $3,000. The cost of grading and park-like hardscaping of a Portland alley can easily surpass $200,000.
The Beech Failing Alley Project is a group of neighbors inspired by the movement to green and activate alleys, while facing these local challenges.
We’re working to add to add Portland to the list of cities reclaiming and reshaping this type of neglected infrastructure nationwide.