The Intertwine

The Intertwine Alliance's vision is to build a world-class system of parks, trails and natural areas in the Portland-Vancouver region.

Urban Greenspaces Institute has been engaged in regional growth management and the planning of parks, trails and natural areas since its founding in 1999. Our current involvement at the regional scale is to help implement the The Intertwine Alliance vision of creating the world's greatest regional parks, trails and natural areas system.

UGI Executive Director Mike Houck was a member of Metro's Greenspaces Policy Advisory Committee, and was an active participant in drafting a vision for a bi-state regional system of parks, trails and natural areas: Greenspaces Policy Advisory Committee: Vision, Outcomes, Objectives and Means (pdf), which was adopted by the Metro Council in March 2005. Houck now serves on The Intertwine Alliance's Core Group and board of directors. 

The Alliance's vision states: "We envision an exceptional, multi-jurisdictional, interconnected system of neighborhood, community and regional parks, natural areas, trails, open spaces and recreation opportunities distributed equitably throughout the region. This region-wide system is acknowledged and valued here and around the world as an essential element of the greater Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area's economic success, ecological health, civic vitality and overall quality of life.

"As the region grows and develops, this region-wide system also expands, diversifies and matures to meet the needs of a growing and changing population. All residents live and work near and have access, regardless of income, to nature, areas for recreation and leisure, and public spaces that bring people together and connect them to their community.

"This region-wide system of parks, natural areas, trails, open spaces and recreation opportunities:

  • Drives the region's economy and tourist trade
  • Preserves significant natural areas for wildlife habitat and public use
  • Enhances the region's air and water quality
  • Promotes citizens' health, fitness and personal well-being
  • Connects the region's communities with trails and greenways
  • Provides sense of place and community throughout the region
  • Supports an ecologically sustainable metropolitan area"

Executive Director Houck chaired the Greenspaces Policy Advisory Committee's natural landscape features working group that developed the natural landscape features map. It depicts the regional natural-areas system from Clark County's North Fork Lewis River in the north, south to Salem in the Willamette Valley, and from the crest of the coast range to the crest of the Cascades.

The now more than 100 Alliance partners include the Bullitt Foundation, Clean Water Services, KEEN Footwear, Metro, Moda, TriMet, 40 Mile Loop Land Trust, Audubon Society of Portland, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, Columbia Land Trust, Columbia Riverkeeper, Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Depave, East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, GreenWorks PC, Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center, Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve, Johnson Creek Watershed Council, Kaiser Permanente, Mayer/Reed, National Park Service, Parks Foundation of Clark County, Portland General Electric, Port of Portland, Portland Parks and Recreation, The Trust for Public Land, Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District, Tualatin Riverkeepers, Urban Greenspaces Institute, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, Westside Economic Alliance, Willamette Riverkeeper, Climate Solutions, and the Vancouver Watersheds Alliance.