By Alexander Gilbert,

While we have been milling around all these years, something out of the background has been gaining traction. No not terrorism or any other looming disaster. This is a sports site. We discuss the finer things. Games and recreation. So what faddish exercise am I getting at? By no means—this even goes beyond the bounds of fun and athletics, by goodness. This bridges communities!

The Intertwine Alliance.

A Google Maps shattering—3,000 square miles of park, trail, and natural area in the Portland expanse. And how do you say, could I overlook this boundless tract of land? Where is it? Well, that’s the thing: It’s all around you, if you didn’t already know. Turns out your neighborhood park had big ideas, and began coalescing with surrounding parks. What a tramp!

Each fraction of green space is being amassed into a shapely hulk of a community. A park in Beaverton is connected to a park in Portland. Over yonder–Boring is reachable on a 18 mile Springwater Corridor Trail from Portland, which is one leg of a 40 mile loop. The Fanno Creek Trail, weighing in at 11.49 miles, swipes through two counties and five cities, but don’t count out the rolling hills Westside Trail at 10 miles. These and other regional multi-use paths are the frame of the Intertwine.

This Intertwine is a coalition of 120+ public agencies, private businesses, and nonprofits all banding together under the idea of a Collective Impact. Which means we have been getting smarter. We are pulling our resources together to “create large-scale, lasting social change.”

“The Intertwine is our common ground.”

Moreover, being that the environment in which we live is persuasive into whom we become, we may yet shed a few pounds, and be the envy of the nation. Or at least decrease the amount of creditable excuses, which would be an accomplishment on its own. “There’s just no place to go…oh yeah [cough] 3,000 square miles.”

Whereas the logistics of this endeavor is a labyrinthine, 180 trails!–and admiringly it’s all pieced together on the Intertwine website. As noted on the site, the regional trails are only 44 percent complete so don’t plan on “wingin’ it” because there could be gaps in the trail you tour. Keep access to a map–which they provide.

So finally the gates from drudgery are opening to us. A cutting edge locale with daycations and post work-treks. Where stress only lives in the form of an erratic disc thrown by a befuddled disc golfer from a wayside course. And wildlife is as common as pull-ups at the installed calisthenics fitness gyms.

Thank you, Intertwine!

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