Explore the Intertwine

February 2017 Newsletter

The Intertwine Alliance is a coalition of 160 public, private and nonprofit organizations working to integrate nature more deeply into the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region. Interested in joining us? Here's how.
Fanning the flames of the Green Schoolyards movement. Last month's visit from Sharon Danks, Bay Area green schoolyards expert, was fun and productive, with a public lecture and several work sessions with Alliance partners. The author of Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation was here to inspire and help coalesce our local green schoolyards movement. As a farewell, Sharon invites Alliance partners to use the free Living Schoolyard Activity Guide published by her organization, Green Schoolyards America. The guide includes 59 activities from 55 organizations around California, and is designed for ages pre-k through 12th grade. Building on the enthusiasm of Sharon's visit, and to carry this work forward, The Intertwine Alliance invites partners and friends to the following children-and-nature events in March. Please join us!
  • Children, Nature and Schools Symposium: Finding New Ways to Help our Students Thrive on Monday, March 13, will be a full day of educational and strategic sessions for thinking deeply about how to leverage our schools and the time our children spend there. Cam Collyer (at right), executive director of programs at Evergreen, a Canadian organization with the mission of “Inspiring action to green cities," will provide the keynote for the event at the Oregon Zoo. Please also join us the following day, Tuesday, March 14, for a Green School Tour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost for the symposium is $50 general, $40 for Intertwine Alliance partners and school-district employees. The Green School Tour is $30. Please RSVP for one or both events by Wednesday, March 8. A big thank you to sponsors the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FamilyCare Health and Play & Park Structures.
  • The Clark County Nature Network of The Intertwine Alliance is hosting the Clark County Youth & Nature Symposium: Deepening Children’s Connection with the Natural World on Saturday, March 18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Clark College in Vancouver. This conversation and learning session about how those living and working in Southwest Washington can contribute to the health and well-being of students and families through a deeper connection to the outdoors will be followed by a social and networking session. The event is free. Please RSVP by Monday, March 13.
BIG NEWS! International green cities symposium coming to Portland this spring. The Intertwine Alliance is teaming up with The Nature of Cities, The Bullitt Foundation, Urban Greenspaces Institute and Portland State University for a one-day summit, Exploring Paths to Collaboration on Green Cities. The event is set for Wednesday, April 26, with exact time and location to be determined. Because city-building requires collaboration across political boundaries, points of view and disciplines, and through a green lens, the summit will bring together Cascadian and international stakeholders engaged in green city building to explore “the nature of cities.” Themes will include: adaptation to climate change and green infrastructure, equity and inclusion, governance across jurisdictional boundaries, creating university and community partnerships, and sustaining green city building over time. The event will serve as the pilot for a larger annual symposium to start next year. More info coming soon; for now, please save the date! Questions? Email Urban Greenspaces Institute Executive Director Mike Houck at

New to the network. We're extremely pleased to welcome two great efforts to the Intertwine Project Network this month:

  • The Portland Outdoor Leadership Training and Equipment Project, a partnership between Friends of Outdoor School, the Outdoors Empowered Network, Mt. Hood Community College and Adventures Without Limits, operates on the premise that gear remains one of the primary barriers to access for many. It aims to create a gear library and training program in the Portland area.
  • Last year, SOLVE IT for Earth Day inspired more than 7,300 volunteers at over 165 sites across the state to remove 47 tons of tires and clear 14 acres of non-native invasive plants. This year's event takes place on Saturday, April 22; register your activity now. 

Interested in getting visibility and support for YOUR project? Joining the Intertwine Project Network is easy! Here's how.

Project leaders, it's a date. On that note, the next quarterly meeting of Intertwine Project leaders is coming up on Thursday, March 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at David Evans & Associates (home to The Intertwine Alliance). An encore of last spring's theme, regional funders will attend to share their priorities and programs. Lined up so far are Meyer Memorial Trust and the Spirit Mountain Community Fund; we'll publish others here as they sign on. Socializing and networking will be a priority, and a tasty lunch will be served. Please RSVP by Friday, March 3.

The science-tastic event of the season. This year's Urban Ecology & Conservation Symposium is just days away, on Monday, Feb. 6. The 15th annual event is dedicated to Alan Yeakley and Jennifer Thompson, both part of the group that formed UERC back in 2001, and who have provided steady leadership ever since. Alan left his position as Director of PSU’s School of the Environment in 2016 to take the position of Chair of Geography and Environmental Systems at the University of Maryland. Jennifer leaves her position at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Oregon Field Office early this year to return home to Falls Church, Virginia, and a new position with USFWS. Alan and Jennifer will be truly missed for their leadership, technical expertise, camaraderie, and for mentoring new members of the UERC family. Read more about them, and get the day's full proceedings, here. Online registration is closed, but tickets are available at the door. See you there!

Test hike our mobile app! With the Daycation mobile app now available to iPhone users for free download, we're on the brink of redeploying volunteer beta testers. Those of you who have already signed up, thank you! Expect an email with instructions and a simple survey in the next few days. Anyone else willing to test and provide input, please email Communications Manager Tara Wilkinson at Your feedback will influence the next version of the app, along with its imminent release in Android. Click here to learn more about Daycation --including youth teams being formed by ROSE Community Development, sponsorship opportunities, the forthcoming Daycation website, and how to submit your Daycation. 

Warm reads for cold days. January was a hoppin' month for the Outside Voice blog, with new posts every week. Thanks to all the fantastic contributors!
  • Seattle's Dr. Kathleen Wolf, keynote speaker at this year's Urban Ecology & Conservation Symposium on Feb. 6, gives another take on restoration with tips on nurturing ourselves through nature. 
  • Sunshine O'Mahoney, executive director of the Vancouver Watersheds Alliance, tells the tale of 37 new murals promoting river conservation up and down Vancouver's Main Street.
  • Rose High Bear, executive director of Wisdom of the Elders, shares the successes of the two-year-old Wisdom Workforce program for Native American adults.
  • Vancouver's Jane Tesner Kleiner makes a case for the local greening of schoolyards movement, and reviews Sharon Danks' book Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation.
Outside Voice showcases the ideas, opinions and projects of Alliance partners and friends. Please direct your ideas or submissions to blog editor Tara at You can also sign up to receive blog posts by email.

Other headlines from around The Intertwine:
  • Washington D.C.-based journalist Florence Williams reads from her book The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier and more Creative at Powell's City of Books on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 7:30 p.m. Williams traveled broadly investigating the science behind nature's positive benefits to the brain, discovering just how critical time outdoors is for human cognition.
  • Confluence Environmental Center has opened its Request for Proposals for 2017-18 AmeriCorps placements. The program catalyzes environmental justice in the Portland area by working with community partners to develop 11-month AmeriCorps positions that address critical environmental needs in low-income communities and communities of color. Stop by an information session at Tabor Space in Southeast Portland on Wednesday, Feb. 8, from 9:30 to noon, or Thursday, Feb. 14, from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m. Proposals due March 16. 
  • The Sandy River Basin Watershed Council, U.S. Forest Service and other partners are hosting a free Climate Adaptation Workshop: Planning for a More Resilient Future on Monday, Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham. View the agenda and register here.
  • Early-bird registration is now open for the 2017 Oregon Active Transportation Summit hosted by The Street Trust (formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance) on March 20-21 at the Oregon Zoo. 

Funding Opportunities

Safe routes to parks. The National Recreation and Park Association is accepting applications through Friday, Feb. 17, for pilot sites to implement the Safe Routes to Parks Action Framework. Learn about the program, and apply, here.  

Southwest Washington restoration. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources is soliciting Landscape Scale Restoration Projects that address priorities identified in Washington’s Forest Action Plan and national themes of conserving working forests, protecting forests from threats, and/or enhancing public benefits from trees. The deadline to submit letters of interest for funding up to $240,000 is Friday, March 10.

Partnerships & strategic plans. The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board's (OWEB) Capacity Building TA Grants, given through OWEB’s Focused Investment Partnership program, are awards up to $150,000 supporting existing partnerships in building their capacities to partner at a high-performing level, and/or to generate new strategic action plans or enhance existing strategic action plans for OWEB's Focused Investment Priorities. To apply, a 30-minute OWEB consultation is required between March 1 and April 30; the application deadline itself is June 12. 

Mark your Calendar

Highlights of the month ahead. See the Intertwine calendar for more. 

  • High adventure. Friends of Tryon Creek is bringing Tim Palmer, author of Pacific High: Adventures in the Coast Ranges from Baja to Alaska, for a slideshow about his and his wife's travels on Friday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. Free, open to the public. Register here.
  • Lessons from our Elders. Join Wisdom of the Elders for the 11th Annual Native American Storytelling Gathering and Traditional First Foods Symposium on Friday, Feb. 17, at Portland Community College's Cascade Campus in North Portland. The symposium from 2:30 to 5 p.m. will feature speakers on the impact of environment change on salmon, lamprey eel, camas, and other threatened or endangered traditional First Foods species. Native American storytelling starts at 7 p.m. with members of the Northwest Indian Storytellers Association sharing traditional tales about First Foods. Tickets are available on a sliding scale, at a suggested $20, with no one turned away. 

  • Focus on Forest Park. Portland Parks & Recreation invites the public to weigh in on design options for a new Forest Park Entrance and Nature Center -- while enjoying free food, door prizes, and family-friendly environmental science activities -- on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Johns Community Center in North Portland. 
Explore the Intertwine
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The Intertwine Alliance · 2100 SW River Parkway, Suite 450 · Portland, OR 97201 · USA