UGI collaborates and partners with other nonprofit organizations, agencies at every level of government, researchers and scientists, and citizen activists. Since our founding, we have created numerous highly successful cooperative efforts to further our mission. UGI is very active in regional policy development and advocacy. For a sampling of our recent policy communications and positions. Read more >

Urban Ecological Research Consortium (UERC): The Institute co-founded the UERC in 2001 to research and sharing of research methogologies and findings as a means to get sound science into the hands of policy makers and to allow for more science-based restoration and management of urban natural resources.

The Intertwine Alliance: The Institute was one of four founding members of The Intertwine Alliance in 2007. The Alliance was established to increase public investment in the Portland-Vancouver region’s system of parks, trails, and natural areas—what has become known as The Intertwine. Another function of the Alliance is to enhance public engagement in enjoying, protecting and funding acquisition and management of The Intertwine. The Alliance now has more than 160 partners from nonprofit organizations, Metro, local park providers, corporations, health providers, and local, state and federal agencies.

ES CoverRegional Conservation Strategy and Biodiversity Guide to the Portland-Vancouver Metropolitan Area: One of the Alliance’s first collaborative projects was production of the region’s first ever Regional Conservation Strategy. More than 100 volunteers spent almost two years producing the Strategy and companion Biodiversity Guide to guide future natural area acquisition and restoration strategies. These documents, combined with high resolution mapping and GIS modeling provide a common understanding of the region’s biodiversity, challenges facing local wildlife and ecosystems, and offer a vision and framework for moving forward to protect and restore the region’s natural systems.

Coalition for a Livable Future: UGI staff was involved in the creation of the Coalition For A Livable Future (CLF) in 1994 to protect, restore, and maintain healthy, equitable, and sustainable communities, both human and natural, for the benefit of present and future residents of the greater metropolitan region.   The Coalition’s goal was to influence public land use, transportation, housing, economic, and environmental policies through advocacy, research, and public education. While the Coalition no longer exists its impact on regional planning and promoting the integration of social and environmental justice, affordable housing, and conservation agendas continues to shape the conservation agenda today. It was the Coalition that brought the need for both affordable housing and urban greenspaces to the fore, making the case it is not an either/or proposition.

Policy Makers RidePolicy Makers Ride: UGI Director Mike Houck and Jonathan Nicholas, now with Moda and Chair of The Intertwine Allinace, met over breakfast in 2005 to plot a route from downtown Portland to Champoeg State Park—the leg that would connect Portland to Oregon State Parks newly-minted Willamette Valley Bikeway to Eugene. This first Policy Ride, before it was known as such, started at Portland’s Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade followed the east bank of the Willamette River to Oregon City and through old West Linn, over Pete’s Mountain to the Canby Ferry. By the time the forty or fifty participants arrived at Champoeg State Park it was clear we needed an annual ride to show elected officials, transportation planners, bicycle, park and trail advocates and civic leaders the “good, bad and ugly” of the regional bicycle and trail infrastructure. Every year since what Nicholas anointed as The Voyage of The Visionaries has taken as many as 150 participants to all corners of the region, and beyond, to explore successes and challenges to the creation of a regional and interregional bicycle and trail network for the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region. The Institute continues to be a leader in planning each year’s ride.