Who We Are
The Intertwine Alliance is a coalition of 150+ public, private and nonprofit organizations working to integrate nature more deeply into the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region.
We define nature broadly, as anything other than the built environment, from backyard gardens and street trees to natural areas and neighborhood parks. We recognize and honor all communities' and cultures' definitions and experiences of nature.
What We Do
The mission of The Intertwine Alliance is to leverage investments in nature to create positive environmental, transportation, education, recreation, health, economic and social outcomes for our community. We do this by building connections across sectors, geographies, disciplines and racial divides, deepening the partnerships and collaborations necessary to accomplish large-scale change. We organize summits and forums; are a communications platform; help our partners build their capacity through training and education; and catalyze, nurture, facilitate and manage complex, collaborative initiatives.
In order to avoid competing with our nonprofit partners, The Intertwine Alliance does not accept contributions from individuals. We also avoid competing with partners for grant funding. Instead, we depend on partner contributions to sustain our work. Partner dues make up about 2/3 of The Intertwine Alliance’s operating budget.
Finding Our Common Ground
The parks and conservation community found that all of our greatest achievements—whether launching a natural area acquisition initiative, completing a new trail, or opening a major new park—had one thing in common. Behind every major success stood a coalition of public, private and nonprofit organizations and leaders. Rather than put this coalition together every time we wanted to do something big, we decided to put it together, keep it together and keep doing big things.
So that’s what we’ve done.
We welcome you to learn more about The Intertwine Alliance's focus areas -- and, if your organization hasn't done so yet, to join The Alliance!
We envision an exceptional multi-jurisdictional, interconnected system of neighborhood, community and regional parks, natural areas, trails, open spaces, waterways and working lands, educational programming 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, human and 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, including low income and communities of color, live and work near and have access 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, waterways, working lands and recreation opportunities:
- Drives the region’s economy and tourist trade and strengthens the economic self-determination of our communities
- 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, greenways, transit, and other facilities involving walking and biking
- Provides sense of place
- Builds and restores social cohesion, the relationships among governments, communities, neighborhoods and residents
- Is accessible to all members of our community
- Supports an ecologically sustainable metropolitan area
- Supports lifelong learning about and stewardship of nature
- Provides food and medicinals that enhance health and well-being
- Helps us understand and adapt to climate change
- Is a legacy for generations to come
There is a powerful, shared ethic that a region-wide system is essential. There is widespread recognition of the system’s multiple benefits to the community, particularly its most vulnerable residents. To use an indigenous lens, the system helps bring mind, body, spirit and social contexts into balance, helping to achieve wellness for people, the community, and the Earth. Tools for its support are well established, including partnerships, policies and funding. Individuals and organizations from all parts of the region appreciate and champion the system through education, advocacy, and stewardship.
The Intertwine Alliance was created based on the following principles:
1. To connect – to create platforms for our partners to share and learn
2. To be inclusive – to make sure all voices are heard
3. To build the capacity of coalition partners – to leverage assets and remove duplication
4. To keep a small footprint – to focus on building our partners’ capacity, not our own
5. To bring in more money – to find new sources of funding to support our partners’ work
6. To make the movement visible – to be the face and resource for our sectors’ issues
7. To collaborate – to build meaningful, sustainable and productive partnerships