Meet Carl DiSalvo: CJ Board Member

As we round out another fruitful year, we need your help. You – our community – are critical to CJ’s success. We rely on you to help us harvest the fruits of local trees. And we rely on you to donate the fruits of your own labor, so that we can get more produce to people who need it. 

Your donation at the end of the year will support CJ as we draw the map to the future. With your help, we will increase our capacity to meet the nutrition needs of communities experiencing food insecurity. 

We sat down with board member Carl DiSalvo to talk about our fruit tree map — which holds an inventory of 4,200+ fruit trees in Atlanta and Athens. The map is critical to our ability to source the freshest produce and get it to families in need. About the map, Carl explained, “When we imagined what the map could be, we tried to build it. But as an organization, we weren’t there yet. And now we’re so much further than we ever imagined. So we’re trying to get the map to catch up and that’s where it’s a challenge. It’s on five year old technology. Now is the time to rebuild it, because it could do so much more for us and so much more for other folks around the city.” 

Carl has been involved with CJ’s fruit tree map for a long time. He’s seen the map through various stages of its evolution. Carl has been building it and tweaking it for many years. His students at Georgia Tech built our current version of the map. He’s also been involved in other fun, fruity, tech projects at CJ, including installing sensors on trees to tell when fruit is ripe and using drones to find and monitor trees around the city. 

Carl says about the map, “We are only be harvesting 10% of the trees we have mapped. And we may actually only ever be able to harvest 30% of those trees, right? If we could then make it easier for others to know where they could go and harvest those trees, that would be great. One of the powerful things about the map is that it’s meant to serve Concrete Jungle, but it’s also meant to serve anyone who wants to use it. Folks can use the map to find and gather fruit for whatever their needs are. It doesn’t have to come back to us.” 

Will you help us map the way to a fruitier future by making a gift to Concrete Jungle before the year is up? Please make a gift so that we can keep getting delicious, nutritious food to folks who need it: