Every year, Urban Forestry grants provide assistance to communities throughout Wisconsin, and can be awarded to cities, villages, towns, counties, tribes and nonprofit organizations. This year, the city of Menomonie received a $9,000 grant to help pre-emptively remove ash trees in the city parks to prevent the spread of emerald ash borer, a pest spreading throughout Wisconsin. Thirty trees will be removed and replaced with hackberry, honeylocust, Kentucky coffeetree, swamp white oak, Redmond linden and Princeton elm.
But, this is not where the story ends. The trees that are to be removed will be reused. The city is partnering with UW-Stout Research and Development Prototyping Lab to repurpose the wood into benches for city parks and a local disc golf course. Additionally, some of the lumber will be placed in a steam box to make the wood pliable for other products such as canoes. This is an excellent example of how communities can expanded the capability of their grant beyond its original purpose by creatively reusing the culled lumber to improve the community.
For more information contact Ellen Clark (EllenA.Clark@Wisconsin.gov), Urban Forestry Communication Specialist, at 608-267-2774.