Mission & History:
PFTP's mission is to increase equitable access to healthy food and strengthen communities by empowering neighbors to share in the harvest and care of city-grown produce.
Created in 2006 as the 'Neighborhood Fruit Tree Project', we began organizing in the Humboldt and King neighborhoods of North/Northeast Portland. Soon, people from all over the city started contacting us, wanting to to get involved in their own communities. In 2007, we changed the name to 'Portland Fruit Tree Project' and now include trees and volunteers from all over Portland. In 2008 the organization became an official 501c3 non-profit after merging with Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods. In January 2009 we hired our Executive Director (Katy Kolker) as our first full-time staff person, with support from Meyer Memorial Trust. We established our office headquarters on Killingsworth street in June of 2009, and brought on NWSA Americorps member Bob Hatton as Harvest & Stewardship Coordinator in September of that year. In 2010 we launched our Fruit Tree Stewardship programs, and our new Community Orchards program. Since it's inception, PFTP's programs and accomplishments have grown by leaps and bounds each year.
What we accomplished in 2012:
- Coordinated 88 community harvesting events with 698 total participants, many of whom participated in multiple events. 55% of harvest participants were from low income households.
- Harvested 66,764 pounds of fruit from 890 trees at 129 different sites.
- Distributed 49,000 pounds of fruit to local food banks, reaching more than 9,000 families in need. The rest went home with harvest partcipants, half of whom were from low-income households.
- Held 18 hands-on workshops in tree care and food preservation, teaching skills for self-sufficiency to 190 total people. Scholarships were provided to more than 1/3 of participants.
- Engaged 102 volunteers in leadership roles as Harvest Leaders, Tree Scouts, Tree Care Team Leaders, Workshop instructors, Fruit Monitors, PFTP Ambassadors, Interns, Committee members, and Orchard Coordinators.
- Registered 773 new fruit trees in the city, and 1,600 new trees in large orchards, bringing the total number of registered trees to 2,217 in Portland, and 1,865 in orchards outside of town. Doubled the number of trees registered in out East Portland during our new East Portland Tree Scouting Day.
- Continued to cultivate two thriving community orchards on public lands, engaging 83 participants in tree and land care, planting, skills-trainings, and leadership development.
- Cared for 180 registered fruit trees and provided year-long intensive skills-trainings to 44 community members, through our unique Tree Care Teams program.
- Harvesting Parties
- Group Harvests
- Benefit Harvests
- Tree Registration
- Tree Care Teams