Volunteer Profiles

Heidi Noordijk

Heidi Noordijk photo

This month we’re happy to introduce you to Heidi Noordijk! Since June 2010, Heidi has been volunteering her time and expertise to teach workshops 8 events in our Tree Care Workshop Series and she plans to teach our 2013 Fall Tree Care workshop as well!

We rely upon knowledgeable volunteers from the community to teach our workshop series events and Heidi has been our most reliable workshop instructor! It is especially helpful that Heidi teaches our Pest & Disease-related classes because it is difficult to find folks in the Portland area who have that kind of technical knowledge and also want to take the time out of their busy lives to share it.

Heidi says, “I've really enjoyed the workshops and look forward to doing more of them.” She said the most rewarding/enjoyable part of the workshops is “being able to talk about fruit and insects and diseases and seeing the interest that the workshop participants have in tree care.”

We’re very grateful that Heidi continues to volunteer her time with us and hope to have her teaching workshops with us as long as she wants to keep doing it! If you ever see Heidi at one of our Tree Care Workshop series events, be sure to thank her for her valuable contribution!

Scott Sutton

Since the first North Portland Community Orchard event on February 2nd, Scott has attended each orchard planning meeting and work party – essentially taking part in the entire planning process and implementation of the orchard. Scott utilized his graduate degree in landscape architecture to create the technical design for the new community orchard, incorporating community feedback and working within the framework of the site’s natural features.  Working with members of the plant/variety selection team, Scott helped research PNW appropriate fruit type and varieties and create a final plant list for the orchard. Scott also helped pick up a lot of the plants, coordinate deliveries to the site, and spent several hours before the groundbreaking event flagging the location for all the plants and trees.

“Lots of people say community projects take forever, but the North Portland Community Orchard shows that it doesn’t take that long. It’s inspiring to see how it’s like a domino effect – all these folks are pulling together to make the orchard a reality and it’s happening in such a short time period.” Undoubtedly, the success seen thus far at the North Portland Community Orchard is due in large part to Scott’s extraordinary contributions to the project.

Even though he’s volunteered over 50 hours (that I know of), he’s still not done. “To me I see the orchard in phase 1 – I’d like to work on the other design elements of the orchard a bit more such as shade structures, mason bee habitats and places for people to gather during workshops, orchard tours, or just to sit and enjoy the orchard.” While all of his time spent towards volunteering displays a selfless desire to better his community, Scott is quick to admit that he’s still gaining a lot personally from the project: such as learning about fruit production and how to create food producing landscapes; observing and participating in a community design process; and adding a new project to his landscape design portfolio. It is Portland Fruit Tree Project’s hope that all of our volunteers are gaining as much personally from working with us, as we are gaining from their volunteer support.

As if Scott’s efforts at the North Portland Community Orchard aren’t enough, he has also contributed to the Sabin Community Orchard by designing a pathway through the orchard and supervising volunteers through the excavation of the pathway.

It’s easy to see why Scott qualifies for our inaugural Volunteer Spotlight award: not only has his technical expertise in landscape architecture played a critical role in the design and development of the North Portland Community Orchard, but he has also donated incredible amounts of time, labor, and personal expenses to the project. The Portland Fruit Tree Project is incredibly grateful for Scott’s support and is proud to have him on our team. If you ever see Scott at one of our community orchard events, be sure to thank him for all his great work!