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North Portland Enhancement grant program

Grants    Community enhancement grants    North Portland Enhancement grant program

Capacity building grants under review by Metro's North Portland Enhancement Committee.

Invited applicants

Find the updated application handbook with the details you need to submit your capacity building grant full proposal to the North Portland Enhancement Committee.

Download the handbook

See the list of invited applicants

Committee makes preliminary decisions about capacity-building grants for North Portland neighborhoods and residents

For nearly three decades, Metro’s North Portland community enhancement grants have helped improve neighborhoods near the now-closed St. Johns Landfill. In 2013, the Metro Council unanimously approved the committee’s recommendation to distribute the remaining $1.6 million in the enhancement grant fund by 2018. The committee dedicated the remaining funds to support a local trail project (North Portland Greenway) and investments in capacity building to strengthen programs and services to North Portland residents.

All capacity-building grants must serve the University Park, Arbor Lodge, Portsmouth, Overlook, Cathedral Park, St. Johns or Kenton neighborhoods and be designed to meet the intent of the program by achieving at least one of the following program goals:

  • Increase employment, commercial or economic opportunities
  • Preserve or enhance existing wildlife, recreation and marine areas of North Portland; or improve public access to or awareness of these areas
  • Improve the safety, appearance or cleanliness of neighborhoods
  • Provide training or services that benefit youth or elderly residents.

What happens next?

In September 2013 applicants submitted letters of interest to the North Portland Enhancement Committee describing how their organization would use capacity-building support to better serve the needs of North Portland residents. The committee reviewed 60 letters of interest and invited 16 organizations to submit full proposals. View a list of organizations invited to apply

Metro Councilor Sam Chase, District 5, chairs the North Portland Enhancement Committee. Seven citizens serve on the committee, each living in and reporesenting a neighborhood in the North Portland target area.

North Portland enhancement program history

Established in 1985 by an act of the Oregon Legislature, Metro’s North Portland enhancement grant program is a mitigation fund to compensate the community affected by the now-closed St. Johns Landfill. Funds were generated from a 50-cent surcharge imposed on each ton of garbage disposed of at the landfill. Interest generated on the fund – more than $2.2 million – has supported 465 local improvement projects that directly benefit residents or neighborhoods around the landfill.

Since 1991 when the landfill stopped receiving loads of trash, the fund lost its main source of revenues; in recent years, low interest earnings and ongoing costs to administer the fund have further reduced monies available for award.

The committee’s recommendation echoed the majority of input and advice about the future of the grant program gathered from local residents, service providers and stakeholders by the committee in the summer and fall of 2012. Others expressed disappointment about not having the fund available in the future, noting that, originally, the principal was to be protected in perpetuity.

See below the Dec. 6, 2012 Metro Council resolution including Opt In survey results.

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Related documents

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Heather Nelson Kent

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