Thank you to our outgoing Board members: Juntu Capistrano Oberg

Juntu Oberg has served on the NWTA volunteer Board of Directors since 2018, including as Board President from 2020-2022. Through her work with NWTA, Juntu has significantly expanded access to mountain biking for youth and families that face immense barriers to outdoor recreation. Because of her work, the privilege of being on a trail and on a bike; no matter one’s background, socio-economic status or race, is more greatly afforded to all.

Juntu grew up in Portland after having moved from the Philippines at a young age. She quickly realized that access to nature in the Portland metro area helped working families from all backgrounds — like hers — have more opportunities to gather and enjoy the benefits of the outdoors without the associated costs and burdens of destination travel. 

Juntu learned how to ride a bike as an adult, and it was then that she quickly discovered the joy that comes with not only being outside, but being outside on bike trails. Drawing from that experience, she has dedicated her time with NWTA to creating robust off-road cycling opportunities close to the urban core for kids to find this joy in their own neighborhood.

During her tenure on the Board, Juntu has forged relationships with local community partners to advance many programs and projects, thus advancing bike access throughout the region. A notable success due to her efforts includes the publishing of Portland’s Off-Road Cycling Master Plan. Further, new singletrack trails, bike skills parks, and paved pump tracks within recent years are all due in part to community collaborations led by Juntu.

It’s imperative to note that her work with NWTA has not only created more physical spaces for mountain biking, but it also activated these spaces with rides, clinics and classes. Youth after school programs and summer camps were started in 2022, with much of it focused on community members and families from historically marginalized populations that have been kept out of outdoor recreation. 

Without a doubt, Juntu’s number one skill that advances her work is leading with kindness and respect. This skill has led to partnerships and collaborative relationships that have depth; they are truly rooted in making meaningful change for our trails and setting the stage for continued progress. What she has created through kindness and respect is something that will last and grow beyond herself and beyond her time being involved on the leadership team with NWTA.

Juntu will be the first to acknowledge that all of this work has been a team effort from all of the NWTA Board members and volunteers throughout many years of dedication. This is certainly the truth. However, every team needs a solid leader; one who will ask questions and constructively challenge everyone to push their own thought processes and recognize the perspectives of others. She has been that leader, and it has shown in all NWTA continues to accomplish. 

Juntu has often referenced an article titled “Generational Outdoor Joy” by Korean American writer Eugene Pak. She noted how the article narrates her motivation to do the work to create these outdoor spaces for Portlanders. In the article, the author stated the following: “Happiness is only real when it is shared. I want my joy of the outdoors to spread through my community like wildflowers, from the younger generation who have the opportunity to spend their lives enjoying the outside world to my elders who are finding an appreciation later in life.” 

This is exactly what drives every bit of Juntu’s work, and we look forward to having Juntu’s joy continue being part of the NWTA broader Leadership team as the Portland Parks Liaison moving forward. Thank you, Juntu!