We just received the message below from Operation Pitch Invasion:
We like to tell people that being part of the Timbers Army is about more than appreciating a team and a good time. When the Timbers Army sings about Portland for 90 minutes, it’s expressing a sense of civic pride unparalleled in North American sports. And that love of town — that nexus of Team/Town/TA — is more than just a match-day affair.
One of the chief manifestations of the Timbers Army’s love of the city is Operation Pitch Invasion, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building, restoring and maintaining soccer fields throughout the Portland area. OPI’s Summer 2012 Campaign is beginning soon, and Timbers Army volunteers are needed to make it a success.
It could not be simpler. OPI has arranged for three days of work on the soccer fields at selected Portland parks — filling potholes, reseeding goal mouths, fixing sprinkler heads and goal posts, and a few other landscaping-type duties — and another day in which less physically demanding work has been arranged.
Two of the park renovations coincide with Timbers away matches, making them a perfect way to connect with fellow supporters with whom to watch the match on TV; the third park renovation project falls on the day of a home match but will end with plenty of time to get down to Jeld-Wen Field, and will include the participation of visiting supporters from Vancouver.
For those who can’t do the strenuous work involved in these field days, a fourth morning will be dedicated to visiting a Portland Parks storage facility and painting and repairing goal posts that will then be placed in parks around the city.
The dates for these activities are:
June 30 — field work at Bloomington Park (SE 100th Ave. & Steele St.)
August 5 — goal repair/painting (location TBA)
August 25 — field work (location TBA)
September 22 — field work (location TBA)
Field maintenance isn’t the only thing OPI has been working on. For almost a year, we’ve been in negotiations to install a brand-new turf field on an empty lot at New Columbia, the housing community in North Portland. It’s a huge project, requiring the cooperation of several public agencies, significant fundraising from public and private parties, and some volunteer effort (a little ways down the line, though). When the field is built, a program of soccer education and a league of local youth players will be created using the volunteer efforts of 107ist and the Timbers Army. Count on more big news about this project later this year.
OPI is also in advanced conversations with a group that is building a greenspace out of a landfill in the Portland area. Our hope is to install at least one fubolito-sized grass field and a full-sized field in the development in 2013.
So how can you help? Easy: volunteer for one of the parks-improvement projects listed above. Right now we’re staffing up for June 30. Work will begin at about 8:30 am (breakfasty drinks and bites will be provided). You need only bring work gloves and be dressed for getting dirty and doing some moderately heavy work (no flipflops, that sort of thing). The whole shebang should be done by 1 pm, plenty of time to get home, shower, and catch the Timbers match at Colorado from your favorite pub or easy chair. You can find out all the details and add your name to the list here. (Space in each project is limited, so don’t dally!)
Look: you sing for 90 minutes about how much you love your city and your team and your game, about how you want to be buried in green and gold, about your pride in your team, your town and your fellow supporters.
This is your chance to do something truly tangible to back up those heartfelt boasts.
So do something more for your town than just jump and clap and sing: Enlist in Operation Pitch Invasion and get dirty with your Timbers Army family.