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Introducing the newest resident of the Northwest Campus, Ole Bolle!

Admission is free to view during daylight hours, donations are appreciated.

“There's something in the air, that something makes my belly rumble.

Something smells so strong, it hits me almost makes me stumble.

Could it be the little people cooking something smelly?

In the big red cookie jar, so I can put them in my belly.”

The exhibit, Northwest Trolls: Way of the Bird King is a public art project conceived of and led by Scan Design Foundation

Northwest Trolls: Way of the Bird King features giant hand-built trolls by internationally acclaimed environmental artist Thomas Dambo from Denmark. The trolls were built during the summer of 2023 at six sites in the Puget Sound region, including the National Nordic Museum in Seattle, plus a troll on the Nordic Northwest Campus in Portland.​


Fashioned entirely out of recycled materials, the art installations turn trash into treasured trolls who tell a tale of protecting nature and honoring our land. This is with a focus on understanding human impact on life in our watersheds and animal habitats. ​


The project includes a companion story that focuses on restoration and preservation of riparian habitats in an approachable, fun way. It provides opportunities for youth and adults to learn, support, and make a difference in our environment. The trolls are visiting the Pacific Northwest from Denmark because they have a desire to help ‘the little people’ – humans.​

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  • When can I see Ole Bolle?
    You can come and say hello to Ole Bolle 7 days a week during daylight hours. The Nordic Northwest office is open from 9 am – 5 pm. The café (Broder Soder) and the gift shop (Nordic Finn Ware) are open from 9 am – 3 pm.
  • How much is admission?
    Admission to view Ole Bolle is free, donations are always appreciated.
  • Where is Ole Bolle?
    Ole Bolle is located in a wooded area on the grounds of Nordic Northwest. Our address is 8800 SW Oleson Rd, Portland, OR 97223
  • Parking
    Our 50-space parking lot is open on a first come, first-served, basis and limited street parking is available on neighboring streets.
  • Accessibility
    Paths to the troll are traversable by walking assistance devices and wheelchairs but may be difficult. Distance to the troll from both the upper and lower parking lots are less than a quarter mile. The path surface is fine gravel, and ground surface around the troll consists of bark chips and dirt. Please note that the upper lot has two ADA parking spots but includes one step up a curb and has a slightly steep entrance. The entrances to Nordia House are wheelchair accessible. All restrooms have accessible stalls. We will do our best to accommodate your needs upon arrival. Please call 503. 977. 0275 or email to arrange further assistance.
  • What else should I see/do while I’m here?
    Experience the Nordic Northwest Campus consisting of… Nordia House, Nordic Northwest’s cultural center which hosts over 150+ cultural events, festivals, and special exhibits annually. Broder Soder, a café serving NW inspired traditional Nordic fare. Nordic Finn Ware, a gift shop with a great selection of products from kitchenware to holiday décor. Fogelbo, a historic log home built by the famed Henry Steiner. Please note that Fogelbo is a private residence and not open to the public. Tours are held several times a year, see our calendar for the next tour dates and times!
  • Do you offer field trips?
    Yes! Nordic Northwest is pleased to offer field trips starting in January! Please visit our field trip page for more information.

S23 NNW troll - PHansen & PLaMont 08Aug2023.jpg
S22 NNW troll - PHansen & PLaMont 08Aug2023.jpg

Friends of Ole Bolle Troll Membership


By becoming a Friend of Ole Bolle, you not only gain all the valued benefits of our supporting membership level, but you will also receive exclusive troll-themed emails and will be the first to know about special troll programming!


For a sprinkle of extra magic, every member signing up will be entered for a chance to win a round trip ticket courtesy of Alaska Airlines! As a Friend of Ole-Bolle, you will be woven into the rich tapestry of our troll's tale. Your name will also be recognized near the troll site!





More details coming soon!

See more volunteer opportunities with Nordic Northwest


Support the Troll Project with a donation!


You can contribute today by donating online, calling the office, or by mailing a check to Nordic Northwest at 8800 SW Oleson Rd. Portland, OR 97223

Thank you for your support! 


Thomas Dambo is considered the world’s leading recycle artist, having been taught from a young age the value of recycling, sustainability, and unlimited imagination. Previously, Thomas has led a multifaceted life that allowed him to express his creativity via music, street art, and scenic design. After graduating from the Kolding Design School with a master’s degree in interactive design, Thomas began his current journey of using recycled materials to create colorful art installations, building the foundation for his artwork today.


Thomas’ high level of creativity drives the creation of highly interactive experiences, allowing users to express their own individuality on a large scale. From gardens made of recycled plastics to a functioning DIY Christmas market made from commercial refuse, Thomas creates experiences that are immersive, interactive, and awe-inspiring. Today, Thomas is known internationally for his larger-than-life troll sculptures that are a part of his project “The Trail of A Thousand Trolls” that are all made from recycled wood. With 87 sculptures all over the world, these trolls have begun to have a life of their own.


Thomas’ vision is to create art that inspires people to go explore, have adventures in nature, and demonstrates that trash can be turned into something beautiful.

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Troll Build Crane 7.jpg

John Halliday, Muckleshoot/Duwamish tribal member, was selected by the tribal council to represent Muckleshoot art and culture in an artistic exchange with Denmark’s renowned artist Thomas Dambo. Scan Design Foundation sponsored and facilitated this exchange, in partnership with the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, out of respectful recognition that the Dambo trolls will be located on traditional Muckleshoot "Duwasmish" tribal territories. 

Read Scan Design Foundation’s travel blog written by Tobi Halliday about the heartfelt exchange that took place between these two creatives!

Hunt for Thomas Dambo's Trolls via the Troll Map!


Brady Jensen

Mike & Arlette Nelson

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A big thanks to this volunteer committee for spearheading this project at Nordic Northwest


Brady Jensen, Chair

Bob Evenson

Peter Loop

John Nelson

Edward Running

Paul Tuomi

Staff: Jodi Lippert


Erik Brakstad

Joanna Cain

Martin Anders Hulth

Anthony Keith

Thurman Miller

Susan Schlesinger

Eric Taxer

Staff: Sassa Carver, Trisha Danforth, Anette Gullholm, Shawn MacArthur, Joseph Spitzer & Michael Zimmer


Photos courtesy of Thomas Dambo, Paul Lamont, Pete Hansen, Anette Gullholm, and Michael Zimmer

#nordicnorthwest #nwtrolls

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