KOIN 6: Website helps preserve Portland trees, collect stories

Thu Aug 24, 2017

Watch the video and read the story at koin.com.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Every tree has a story. And now, thanks to a new website, people can easily share and tell those stories.

Researchers at Portland State University have launched a website — entitled canopystory.org — that pinpoints trees in Portland and connects them with historic events, family memories, urban legends, and more.

“We haven’t seen this anywhere else in the country,” said Vivek Shandas, an urban planning professor at PSU.

Sharing a story is simple. Using the site, visitors can find a tree, open a dialogue box and share a memory. Madelyn Miller, a history student at PSU, thinks trees have a way of sparking memories.

“There’s something about these giant living monuments basically that people are drawn to and they have very strong memories attached to,” she said.

“I think it’s just kind of in our nature to gravitate toward trees and the stories they can tell.”

Officials hope the project will help preserve the city’s biggest and oldest trees. The project gives residents an opportunity to contribute to public record.

Shandas hopes every tree in Portland has a memory associated with it, and that people will share them.

“We wanted to see if people in Portland would be enthusiastic about trying to tell stories about these trees.”

Anyone can contribute stories about Portland trees on the new PSU site here