As we look back at the history of Concrete Jungle’s fruit tree map, who better to talk to than the creator of CJ’s fruit map? Meet Craig Durkin. Craig and his friend Aubrey Daniels started Concrete Jungle back in 2009. But the map existed even before that.
Craig first set up the map to help himself and his friends find free food. It was a simple Google map with markers on it that showed where fruit trees were, but it also had other ways to recover food too – like dumpsters where you could get bags of bagels and donuts. In the beginning, Craig says that it was pretty basic: “There wasn’t a whole lot of community around it. I’m not sure how many people even knew about it.” Today, the map has grown beyond Craig’s initial vision for the project.
Craig explains, “It’s changed a lot in what purpose it serves. We would consult this map a bunch in the early years of CJ. When it was just me and Aubrey and a few random people, a lot of the map was memorized. As we added more trees, then it became a cool marketing tool for Concrete Jungle. Like ‘Hey, look! Check out all this cool stuff that’s right near you, and you didn’t even know about it.’ And now I feel like there’s so many things going on at CJ, that the map seems like a really important logistic tool of planning events and keeping the season going.”
Indeed, the map is critical to Concrete Jungle’s ability to organize thousands of volunteers to harvest fruit and get it to families who need it.
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.
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: donorbox.org/mapthefruit