All Sustainability History Project Oral Histories


Ted Labbe

Streaming Media

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1 hour 2 minutes


Nonprofit organizations, Sustainability -- Oregon -- Portland, Urban runoff -- Management, Asphalt concrete pavements -- Recycling


Interview of Ted Labbe by Chris Fogg in Portland, Oregon on May 31st, 2009.

The interview index is available for download.


Ted Labbe, a native Oregonian, serves on the board of Depave, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the "transformation of over-paved places; engaging & inspiring communities to reconnect urban landscapes to nature through the reduction of pavement." He has been a biologist for the Washington and Oregon Departments of Fish and Wildlife, Indian Tribes, and nonprofit organizations. He holds a MS in Fish and Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University. This background in fish and wildlife biology has informed his work with Depave.


Ted Labbe has combined his love for the outdoors and his education in history, environmental studies, and biology into a position as a conservation biologist in Washington, while also volunteering with DePave in Portland, Oregon. This interview, done March 11, 2011, focuses on Labbe's work with DePave, and their goal to “liberate soil.” While DePave's focus is with public spaces, Labbe also sees it as an inspiration to people to do the same to their own properties. The main goal is to naturalize the city's built environments to allow for stormwater infiltration, while adding greenspace in its place. Labbe explains the importance of targeting neglected neighborhoods for DePave, and developing community gardens or parkspace in return. DePave is “taking community eyesores and turning them into community assets.”

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.

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