Portland, October 29th. The city of Portland is recognizing individuals and organizations who help make Portland thrive. University of Portland Women’s Soccer Team was one group honored. They helped Harper’s Playground, a new, inclusive and accessible playground in Arbor Lodge Park (located less than two miles from the UP campus). Inspired by six-year-old Harper Goldberg, who was born with Emanuel Syndrome, the Pilots launched a season-long silent auction in 2011 and raised $5,000 for the playground. This season, the team is donating tickets and other items to raise additional funds. Commissioner Nick Fish was proud to nominate two groups of outstanding young community leaders this year.

“The Spirit of Portland awards are a wonderful tribute to the many amazing community and neighborhood leaders who contribute to our thriving civic life in the City of Portland,” says Commissioner Amanda Fritz, commissioner-in-charge of the Office of Neighborhood Involvement. These young leaders will be recognized at the Spirit of Portland award ceremony at 7pm on October 29 at the Doubletree Hotel.
From 50 nominations submitted by the community, an awards committee selected the 2012 Spirit of Portland award winners and the including the Grant High School Community Garden Team
Grant High School students secured all of the funding for the Grant Garden through a $50,000 State Farm grant, and developed the garden vision themselves.

Grant High School students secured all of the funding for the Grant Garden through a $50,000 State Farm grant, and developed the garden vision themselves.

Last year, a team of young visionaries in Grant High School’s Environmental Club set out to build a community garden. After meeting with City officials and community partners, the students decided to build a City-owned community garden as well as a Learning Garden for use by classrooms.

The team quickly gained community support and in October 2011, the students were thrilled to be awarded a State Farm Youth Advisory Board Grant in the amount of $50,300 to develop the garden. In June, the team welcomed neighbors and students to the grand opening of the Learning Garden and the Grant High School Community Garden. The gardens contributed 43 plots to our 1,000 Gardens initiative, including 2 ADA accessible beds at each garden.

The Learning Garden will be used to advance student’s learning in botany, biology, foreign languages, sustainable agriculture, math, and more. Produce grown by the different classes will be used in the school’s cafeteria and donated to the Oregon Food Bank.

Other recipients of the Spirit of Portland Awards are listed below, they were included were nominated by specific officials:

Mayor Sam Adams

  • Gwyneth Gamble Booth
  • Dr. Preston Pulliams

Commissioner Nick Fish

  • Grant High School Community Garden Team
  • University of Portland Women’s Soccer Team

Commissioner Amanda Fritz

  • Northeast Broadway Business Association

Commissioner Randy Leonard

  • Rodney Haven

Commissioner Dan Saltzman

  • Oregon College of Oriental Medicine
  • Miriam Green, Oregon DHS, Child Welfare Program Manager


Community Stewardship

Kathy Fuerstenau

Bruce Murray

Outstanding Organization

Bradley Angle

Albina Head Start

Independent Spirit

Charlene Williams

Community Harmony

Gigi Lambert

Linda Nguyen

Emerging Community Leader

Chabre Vickers

Outstanding Partnership

Arlene Kimura

Neighborhood Association of the year

Ashcreek Neighborhood Association

Sandy Diedrich Award

Friends of Mt. Tabor Park – Weed Warriors