All Sustainability History Project Oral Histories


Interview with Leslie Pohl-Kosbau, Community Garden Project, 2009 (audio)

Streaming Media

Publication Date


Document Type



31 minutes


Sustainability, Community Gardens -- Oregon, Volunteers


Interview of Leslie Pohl-Kosbau by Jayne Pelling on July 31st, 2009.


Leslie Pohl-Kosbau was the founder and Director of Community Gardens for Portland Parks and Recreation from 1975 to 2011. She holds a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Oregon, and an Associates degree in Horticulture.


Leslie Pohl-Kosbau, of the City of Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Association, discusses the Community Garden Project in this oral history interview. Pohl-Kosbau oversees the day- to-day site upkeep, provides managerial support, and oversees the implementation of new garden locations for all the community gardens within the Community Garden Project. The Community Garden Project is organic by design with methods and training in place to educate members on proper organic gardening techniques. She speaks of the challenges borne by the financial limitations of the project and the reliance on donated funds and labor, yet emphatically speaks of the benefits to the communities where the gardens are founded and to the citizens who utilize the plots. Pohl-Kosbau mentions the Digable City Report and its role in helping to designate over 20 sites that were suitable for community gardens. Pohl-Kosbau hopes that through community gardening, people can find hope, life, and health.

This interview is part of “The Sustainability History Project: Documenting Sustainable Development and Practice in the Pacific Northwest” at Portland State University.


This digital access copy is made available as streaming media for personal, educational, and non-commercial use within the parameters of “fair use” as defined under U.S. Copyright law. It cannot be reproduced, distributed, or broadcasted for commercial purposes. For more information, please contact Special Collections at Portland State University Library at: or (503) 725-9883.

Persistent Identifier


Article Location