City parks should be a reflection of the residents and users of the park.

Merriam-Webster has multiple definitions for culture:

  • The characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time
  • The integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends on the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations

Friends of PIR’s mission is to preserve and enhance PIR. We celebrate PIR’s history and culture while seeking out new ways to help a broader range of Portland residents experience the track. City parks encourage active lifestyles, increase community engagement and reduce crime, strengthen local economies, and be a tool for cities to achieve their equity goals. Our non-profit looks to honor and continue cultural traditions while creating new, more inclusive ones in the future.

PIR has a fascinating diverse cultural history ranging from the early founding of Vanport (which was once the second largest city in Oregon) to racing heritage that now dates back multiple generations. Looked at from another perspective, there are many permanent road racing courses in the US and around the world, but PIR is the only one in city limits that has mass transit access. As mentioned above, preserving and enhancing this jewel of a city park is core to the mission of our non-profit.