About

IMG_0892Gorge Owned (GO! is a member-supported organization working to strengthen connections between people, the natural environment, and the economy in the Columbia Gorge.

How we strive to meet our mission

We orchestrate numerous programs, including the Sense of Place Lecture Series, Gorge Green Drinks, the Gorge Green Home Tour, Gorge Bike Commute Month, GO! Local Month, and by hosting films, educational workshops and raising awareness about the impacts of individuals’ and businesses’ purchasing decisions, behaviors and practices.

We also have a long history of incubating start-up non-profits and programs. These programs include the Gorge Rebuildit Center, Gorge Grown Food Netwok and rediviva. If you have an idea for a non-profit or program, send us an email at info (at) gorgeowned.org.

Why are we doing this work?
We believe that education and connection (to people, information and resources) lead to citizen empowerment, which drives community investment, engagement and positive change.

Who are GO! members?
GO! members are local business owners*, community members, non-profits and government agencies:

  • Who live in Hood River, Klickitat, Sherman, Skamania, or Wasco counties.
  • Believe ownership matters.
  • Believe individuals, organizations, cities and more are more successful when they collaborate with others.

* Local businesses are defined as:
Companies that are privately held.
Owners live in Hood River, Klickitat, Sherman, Skamania, or Wasco counties.
Owners have full autonomy to make their own independent decisions.

GO! is a member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE).

Our Story
Gorge Owned (GO!) is a newly formed organization that resulted from a merger of two well-rooted organizations, the Columbia Gorge Earth Center and the Gorge Owned Business Network.

Columbia Gorge Earth Center
Founded in 2000 by a small group of citizens committed to organizing a Gorge Earth Day event and acting as an informational hub for Gorge non-profits, the Earth Center began as an incubated program of the Central Cascades Alliance (who eventually disbanded and became Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute). CGEC acquired its 501 (c) 3 nonprofit status in 2003 and one year later launched its first program, the Gorge Rebuild-it Center (a reused building material store). Since then, the Earth Center has incubated six other programs in the areas of waste, energy, local food, local economies and culture.

Gorge Owned Business Network
Founded in 2010, Gorge Owned Business Network has been committed to advancing Gorge-owned businesses, non-profits and community members with a commitment to a sustainable and prosperous community. The organization has been committed to raising awareness about the value of local ownership and environmental and social responsibility in the five-county region of the Columbia River Gorge. Its work has been focused around encouraging residents and visitors to shift their spending dollars from national chains to locally owned, independent businesses — because when people shop with locally owned businesses, 30% more money stays in the local economy (known as the “multiplier effect”). More than 130 people and businesses joined Gorge Owned Business Network between November 2010 and December 2012.

Recognizing the value of collaboration and streamlining systems, the boards of the two organizations with similar missions in December 2012 voted to merge and become one new organization simply known as Gorge Owned. > Read coverage in the Hood River Biz Buzz