“Teaching Health and Physical Education has enabled me to learn the importance of good recreation for life. Good parks and trails give all people a chance to relax, as well as working to have good mental and physical health.”
Robert “Bob” Akers, our 40-Mile Loop Land Trust President, grew up in Eastern Oregon on a wheat and cattle ranch. He attended Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington long enough to meet his wife of 50 years, Janice. Then he transferred to Oregon State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education. Bob has coached wrestling and football and taught school in the Centennial School District in Gresham since 1966. Even though he retired from teaching in 1996, after 30 years of service, he still coaches football at Centennial High School and helps with wrestling tournaments as a member of the OSSA state wrestling tournament committee.
Parks and trails are incredibly important to Bob, who sees the link between access and health. He got involved in parks and trails when his family helped build a fitness trail around Lynch Wood School where he was the Physical Education Teacher. The booster club at Lynch Wood School paid for the supplies for the trail and his family and other parents built the fitness trail around the school grounds.
Since then, Bob has continued to collaborate with others to make great things happen. He worked to get the City of Portland to develop Powell Butte Nature Park, served on the Citizens Park Advisory Committee for the City of Gresham, served on Metro Citizens Advisory Committee for Parks and Green Spaces, and has served on the 40 Mile Loop Land Trust Board since 1992.
When Bob’s not watching his grandkids participate in all of their activities, it’s probably because Oregon State Beavers sports are on. Or perhaps it’s because he’s with Janice on a long getaway, camping on the coast or biking and walking the trails in Palm Springs.