Explore the Intertwine

November 2015 Newsletter

The Intertwine Alliance is a coalition of 145 public, private and nonprofit organizations working to integrate nature more deeply into the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region. 

Interested in joining us? Here's how.

Alliance Updates 

Breaking news at the Summit. Thanks to the 240 partners and other friends who made the Oct. 21 Intertwine Alliance Fall Summit at the Oregon Zoo such a huge success. The afternoon was filled with lively and informative small-group conversations, networking and fun. As we shared via a special email the day after the event, the Port of Portland made big news at the Summit by announcing the donation of a portion of Ross Island to the City of Portland for restoration. (Read all about the gift, and its meaning in the long history of efforts to conserve the island, here.) The Intertwine Alliance also broke some news of its own, debuting Intertwine Projects, a new system for organizing the coalition's work and priorities. Find out how to declare your collaborative effort an Intertwine Project -- and why you would want t0 -- here
Ross Island donation, left to right: Bob Sallinger, Audubon Society of Portland; Mel Huie, Metro/Urban Greenspaces Institute; Don Goldberg, Port of Portland; Lise Glancy, Port of Portland; Travis Williams, Willamette Riverkeeper; Judy Bluehorse Skelton, PSU/Urban Greenspaces Institute; Phil Ralston, Port of Portland; Mike Abbate, City of Portland; M.J. Cody, Urban Greenspaces Institute

New partner hello. Please join us in warmly welcoming the following organizations to our ever-growing coalition: the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette, Kingfisher Ecological Services and Friends of Mt. Tabor Park. Here's how your business, government agency or nonprofit can join, too. 

Going deeper. About 35 people representing Intertwine Alliance partner organizations, along with a few friends from Seattle and beyond, gathered Oct. 6-8 for an institutional racism workshop led by Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training at the beautiful Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in the Columbia River Gorge. With participants from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Meyer Memorial Trust, Portland Parks & Recreation, Friends of Trees, the City of Portland, Tryon Creek Watershed Council, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Nature Conservancy and several others, the retreat was a profound experience in learning about institutional racism and how our coalition, acting collectively, can begin to dismantle it. A big thank you to sponsor U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Care about the canopy? Please join us for The Intertwine Alliance Urban Forestry Un-Forum, "A Community Dialogue on Urban Forestry," on Monday, Dec. 7, from 2 to 5 p.m. This free event at the World Forestry Center is an opportunity to brainstorm with fellow urban forestry colleagues and enthusiasts, discussing topics chosen by you. The original deadline for submitting un-forum topics was today; in recognition of the bad timing of this newsletter, we've extended it 'til tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 3,  at 5 p.m. (Sorry that we can't push it even further.) Hope to see you there. Register here.

Save the date. The Intertwine Alliance Quarterly Conservation Forum is an idea that evolved from a group of conservation leaders with a strong interest in developing on-the-ground projects as clear next steps toward implementation of the Regional Conservation Strategy. Watch for more information about the format and agenda for the first of these forums, set for Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.

Local twist on a national effort. As many of you know, the U.S. Department of the Interior has embarked on a youth initiative to inspire millions of young Americans to play, learn, serve and work in the outdoors. The DOI has selected the first 25 cities to participate in this initiative to increase awareness, support and education in outdoor programs -- and Portland is one of them. As part of this work, the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette will host a summit to engage community organizations about volunteer opportunities on public lands on Saturday, Nov. 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Camp Collins. We hope many of you throughout The Intertwine will participate. Please RSVP to Bruce Patton at
Active Transportation update. About 45 urban-canopy lovers gathered on Oct. 14 for the second installment of The Intertwine Alliance's series of conversations about active transportation issues and best practices in the Portland region. The event was organized as an un-conference, essentially an open-format venue for citizens and practitioners to foster cross-disciplinary discussion and sharing of ideas. Topics ranged from harnessing people power to write new transportation policy guidance to understanding how to manage high-value, high-traffic streets to be livable and safe. The energy in the room was good, and attendees pledged to continue the conversations in upcoming forums.

That's the spirit! We're delighted and so proud to congratulate Portland State University Senior Instructor of Indigenous Nations Studies and Intertwine Alliance Board Member Judy Bluehorse Skelton as a recipient of a 31st Annual Spirit of Portland Award. Recognizing local individuals and organizations who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to positive change in our community, the awards will be given by Portland's mayor and city commissioners at City Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 17. View the other winners and more details here

Your spot at UERC 2016. Abstracts for oral and poster presentations for the 14th Annual Urban Ecosystem and Conservation Symposium, set for Monday, Feb. 8, at Portland State University, will be accepted through Nov. 23. Abstracts should focus on sharing results, lessons learned, or opportunities and resources. Click here for more about The Urban Ecosystem Research Consortium, to access the abstract submission form, or to register for the symposium. 

Represent The Intertwine on the national scene. The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking 15 young adults ages 18 to 29 from around the country who are involved in climate change efforts and/or advocacy to participate in a new Youth Perspectives on Climate Justice Work Group. The youth-led advisory work group will assist the National Environmental Justice Council (NEJAC) in developing best practices to address climate change. Learn about the program and the time commitment here. Applications due Nov. 30.

Tree tops. Oregon Community Trees is seeking presentation proposals for the 2016 Oregon Urban & Community Forestry Conference to be held Thursday, June 2, 2016. The theme is "Maintaining Magnificence: Tree Preservation in Urban Areas." How do we value and care for existing mature trees, stands of trees and forested corridors in our cities? Please submit by Nov. 20 proposals that reflect the best thinking on these issues.

Partner up. Get the funding needed to launch your conservation project: Apply for a 2016 Partners in Conservation grant from the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. Grants from $5,000 to $100,000 are available for conservation and education projects that serve residents within any part of Multnomah County east of the Willamette River. Proposals are due Tuesday, Dec. 15, and  must address habitat restoration/monitoring, water quality/conservation, sustainable agriculture/gardening, naturescaping or stormwater management. View guidelines and projects funded in 2015 here

More nature play? The Nike Community Impact Fund is gearing up for its next round of grants, with $250,000 designated for nonprofits and schools throughout the greater Portland area, including Clark County in southwest Washington. One-year awards  of $5,000 to $20,000 each support organizations and projects creating a world where physical activity, play and sports are highly valued. Find guidelines and the application, which is due Dec. 1, here
Water works. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting proposals for its Urban Waters Small Grants program through Nov. 20. Total estimated funding is $1.6 million, with each award expected to range from $40,000 to $60,000. Proposals should advance the EPA's water quality and environmental justice goals with projects addressing urban runoff pollution, partnerships and underserved communities. 

Our Common Ground Film Series. Need some fun and mental stimulation for your rainy fall/winter evenings? We're here to help, with the new Our Common Ground Film Series, brought to you by the Port of Portland on the second Wednesdays of December, January and February. First up is "The Olmsted Vision: Past, Present and Future," a free screening hosted by Portland Parks & Recreation on Dec. 9 at the McMenamins Mission Theater. 
Use your Outside Voice. Last month in our guest blog, Clean Water Services' Bruce Roll explained how a different kind of "timber army" has managed to plant 5.7 million native shrubs and trees in in the past decade, while the City of Portland's Sara Culp revealed which aspects of Portland's streams and rivers earn passing grades, and which fail, in new watershed report cards. Submit your blog post to, or sign up to receive blog email notifications

Mark your Calendar
Highlights of the month ahead. See the event calendar for more.

  • Explore a natural area usually closed to the public at Discover Rock Creek in Happy Valley on Saturday, Nov. 7. Join Clackamas County Water Environment Services, Clackamas River Basin Council and SOLVE  to tour new in-stream construction and restoration on this tributary of the Clackamas River, learn at hands-on education stations, and plant shrubs and trees. RSVP here.
  • How does Portland’s water system utilize groundwater? Learn about the water supply at Groundwater 101, an interactive workshop, on Saturday, Nov. 14. Presented by the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, the program is free and appropriate for adults and children ages 14+. Pre-registration required, space limited. 
  • Celebrate Friends of the Columbia Gorge's 35th birthday at  Gorge on Tap on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the Lucky Lab Beer Hall in NW Portland. The evening's presentation will be "The Inside Scoop on Coal & Oil Transport through the Gorge."
Add your organization's events to The Intertwine Alliance calendar. Click here to learn how.
Explore the Intertwine
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