All Sustainability History Project Oral Histories


Katy Kolker

Streaming Media

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28 minutes


Nonprofit organizations -- Urban Agriculture -- Sustainability, Fruit trees -- Oregon -- Portland


Interview of Katy Kolker by Dan Stillinger in Portland, Oregon on February 27th, 2010.

The interview index is available for download.


Katy Kolker is the founder and executive director of the Portland Fruit Tree Project. Before starting the Portland Fruit Tree Project, she was a member of Growing Gardens and worked for Americorp. She has a BA in Environmental Studies/Biology. 1000 Friends of Oregon awarded Katy Kolker the 2010 Innovators Award, and has been featured on KATU News, in their Everyday Heroes segment.


Katy Kolker transformed the simple idea of sharing fruit into the Fruit Tree Project, a citywide non-profit organization. Since 2007, there have been almost 600 trees registered, which collectively produce thousands of pounds of fruit that have been distributed to food banks and low-income families in the Portland area. Kolker works with numerous volunteers caring for trees, harvesting fruit and sharing the abundance. Volunteers learn stewardship of the land, as well as get an opportunity to become involved with their neighborhood. Volunteers also reap the benefits of the project by personally collecting some of the bounty of fruit. The goals of the project include increasing local food production, providing access to the knowledge of good nutrition, as well as empowering the community through sustainable action.

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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