Projects That Make a Difference

North Portland Tool Library

“Tools and the power to use them.” The State of Oregon’s first community tool library serves over 4500 North Portland residents.

Visit Us or Join today!

North Star Village

group_of_older_people_500x333Community Aging-In-Place. North Star Village is a caring community that supports members to remain in their homes safely and affordably and encourages social connections promoting healthy, vibrant and meaningful living.  A committed group of volunteers is creating our aging-in-place village whose sole purpose will be to support older adults to stay put in their own homes and live independently. By providing services and programs, members enjoy a sense of safety and comfort as well as opportunities to remain physically active, socially engaged, and mentally stimulated.    For information on the local Village movement and how to be involved in creating a dynamic neighbor-helping-neighbor community. or email

Harpers Playground

Harper’s Playground volunteers raised over $1.2 million in less than three years and built community in a big way by providing an inclusive playground at Arbor Lodge Park where children and adults of all abilities can play together. This North Portland conceived and built award-winning playground is now being duplicated beyond the borders of Oregon.

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St Johns Farmers Market

St Johns volunteers run one of Portland’s most successful Farmers Market Saturdays from late spring to early fall. See great entertainment, buy fresh produce and food products, and support local agriculture at the St Johns Farmers Market.

St. John’s Farmers Market Site


Working collaboratively with the community, npGREENWAY envisions a trail system along the Willamette River in North Portland that links neighborhoods with the river for recreation and access to jobs. The volunteers of npGREENWAY have skillfully worked along with local jurisdictions to deliver the initial engineering plans to make this trial a reality.

Get informed!

Blue Heron Wetlands

The attack by an invasive weed in the East Columbia wetlands ecosystem has elicited a huge volunteer response with volunteers raising several thousand dollars and working with scientists to restore this vital ecosystem.

Get involved!

Baltimore Woods

Starting with just an idea that a unique urban oak ecosystem in the Friends of Cathedral Park neighborhood association was a prized asset, a small fiercely dedicated band of residents has captured the imagination of the community and raised over a half million dollars in a few short years on their way to make this important preservation a reality.

Help preserve this urban forest!

Public Spaces

Neighborhood associations have created great public spaces from unused parcels of land. The Greeley plaza, Kenton Rose Garden, the Bryant Street Bridge, James John School parkway, and now the Olin Triangle in the University Park neighborhood will get a landscaped face lift.

To find out more, call North Portland Neighborhood Services at 503.823.4524.

North Portland Community Gardens

Over the past several years, three different grass roots based efforts has raised over $75,000 and many hours of volunteers labor to build community gardens in the Portsmouth, Kenton, and Piedmont neighborhoods.

To find out more, call North Portland Neighborhood Services at 503.823.4524.

Pittman Hydro Art Park

Pittman Sculpture 2Continuing a tradition of arts programs conceived and implemented for and by the community, local residents and professional artists have helped transform an unkempt remnant property into a sculpture garden in the Overlook neighborhood.

To find out more, call North Portland Neighborhood Services at 503.823.4524.

Community Run Centers

NPNS supports two community run centers in the NPNS district, the Historic Kenton Firehouse and the Historic Overlook House. Both Community Centers were rescued by residents who worked hard to save these local community resources.

The Historic Kenton Firehouse has been operated and maintained by the community for nearly 40 years. This historic landmark was turned from an abandoned boarded up eyesore into a place where the community can gather for public meetings and private events. Today this 100 year old building is powered by an 8.8 kWh photovoltaic solar array and geothermal heat.

The Overlook House was slated to be sold to the highest bidder when the Overlook Neighborhood Association rallied the City to turn the community center over to a local committee. After a short period of incubation by North Portland Community Works, the Friends of the Overlook House was formed and continues to provide a place for community programs and private events.

Ideas and Action: 25 Past NPNS Supported Community Projects

  • Solarize North Portland
  • Historic Kenton Firehouse Geothermal/Solar
  • Frente Comun Latinos
  • Caring Community of North Portland
  • Waud Bluff Trail Involvement
  • Art on the Peninsula
  • Network North Portland local conferences
  • The 5th Quadrant Art and the Environment
  • Cathedral Park Master Plan Engagement
  • Latino Network
  • Interstate Farmers Market
  • North Portland Trail Summit
  • St Johns Windows Art Project
  • Children’s Arboretum Wetlands Restoration
  • Business District Signs
  • Progressive Change Movie Nights
  • St Johns plus Art
  • Hmong Traditional Culture Support
  • Wings Project: After School Program
  • Tree Planting with Friends of Trees
  • James John School Linear Park
  • North Portland Noise Study
  • Neighborhoods USA national conference
  • Growing Old at Home
  • St Johns in the 21st Century