To provide equitable access to outdoor experiences and gear, promoting well-being, sustainability, and resilient communities.
We envision a Maine community where anyone can enjoy being active outdoors. We believe that access to the outdoors, educational programming, and reliable gear has positive benefits for individuals and communities. We believe that being engaged in nature promotes physical and mental health, builds confidence and resilience, fosters environmental stewardship, and brings diverse communities together.
We value building meaningful connections with our participants to strengthen our community.
We strive to build a diverse outdoor community that welcomes and celebrates Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQIA+, and individuals of different ages, abilities, religious preferences, and socioeconomic statuses. We value bringing people together in the outdoors to learn skills, promote wellness, and build connections.
We value education that builds understanding, leadership and outdoor skills. We are committed to developing programming that helps young people feel seen, heard and grow into healthy, thriving, resilient adults.
We acknowledge the responsibility that humans have, as part of the natural world, to protect, conserve and advocate for the land and our environment, to sustain our future on our planet. We believe in the importance of connecting with and caring for the environment and encouraging people to become stewards of the world around them. We do this through active conservation of our 107 acre campus and by reducing our own environmental impact, in part by reusing and recycling gear.
We are committed to transparency and accountability and actively work to create an environment that honors our staff’s individual skills, contributions and celebrates their accomplishments.
1. Deliver high-quality outdoor education and experiences and continue to expand our program offerings to reach a wider community.
2. Increase organizational sustainability through financial health, engaged governance, and improved development capacity.
3. Prioritize and invest in our staff. Attract, develop, and retain exceptional talent.
4. Promote equitable access to enriching outdoor experiences.
5. Invest in and improve our facilities in Scarborough and Portland.
Who We Are
The Portland Gear Hub is a non-profit outdoor gear and bike shop powered by Ketcha Outdoors, a 501c3 youth outdoor organization.
The Gear Hub’s garage at 155 Washington Ave. takes in donations of used outdoor gear and fully inspects and repairs the equipment. We recycle and reuse as much as possible, saving parts for reuse and refurbishing bicycles both for sale and for programs. We aim to lower the barrier of entry for those interested in outdoor recreation and/or sustainable transportation.
The Bike School at 85 Anderson St. opened in May 2017 to provide a dedicated space for bicycle education. At the bike school, we offer free youth and adult programming, including Youth Wrench, Open Bench Time, and Bikes for All Mainers, as well as a variety of advanced bike maintenance classes.
The Gear Hub is made up of a small group of year-round staff who are supported by many dedicated volunteers. Our volunteers help us sort skis, repair kids’ bikes, make improvements to our building, translate traffic safety classes, and much more. Our staff and volunteers love the outdoors and we love what we do! We hope to share the joy and knowledge of bike repair and outdoor recreation with our community.
The Portland Gear Hub was created in January 2014 in the basement of the Portland YMCA. The idea originated between two youth nonprofits in southern Maine, Camp Ketcha and the Community Bicycle Center. At first, the primary goal was to provide funding for existing youth development programming, but it has grown to be so much more. After a year in the YMCA basement, the Gear Hub opened its retail storefront in April 2015 on St. John St. in Union Station Plaza. At Union Station, the Gear Hub gained new exposure, hired new staff (former volunteers!), and began drawing in more donations and more foot traffic.
In the Spring of 2017, the Gear Hub raised about $6,000 from our community to relocate to the East Bayside neighborhood. A former auto garage at 155 Washington Ave offered a better layout and work environment. The Bike School at 85 Anderson St is situated in a residential neighborhood across the street from Kennedy Park and Fox Field, a great location for offering youth programming. We opened our new locations in May 2017 and we continue to grow and improve. Come visit!