Thursday, June 8, 2017
The Center for ReSource Conservation (CRC) and the City of Boulder Parks and Recreation Forestry Division announced today they are exploring a collaboration to test the financial sustainability and market demand for locally milled and sourced lumber. Starting on Saturday, June 10 until supplies are gone, lumber milled from some of the city’s Ash and Oak trees which had to be removed will be available for sale at ReSource,6400 Arapahoe Road in Boulder.
In September 2013, Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive wood boring beetle, was first detected in the city. To manage this beetle and its destructive impact on the city’s urban tree canopy, Boulder Forestry implemented a multifaceted strategy which includes a long-term goal addressing removal and replacement of roughly 4,500 public ash over the next seven to eight years.
Currently, trees removed from public land are taken to the city’s forestry lot for reclamation efforts, including chipping for biomass boilers or mulch and compost grinding. The city’s 18-month TreeOpp pilot added milling as another responsive use. Each of these efforts has related costs. With the influx of EAB tree debris anticipated in the near future, the city actively sought other sustainable opportunities to repurpose this wood.
Enter ReSource, the home of the CRCs reclaimed materials programs. ReSource provides a full complement of sustainable services for the building trades, homeowners, makers and DIYers of all types – including lumber.
“Boulder is facing an incredible challenge over the next few years to manage tree debris resulting from EAB. We are pleased to be a part of one potential solution that keeps this wood out of a landfill by putting it in the hands of our community DIYers for repurposing,” said Brandon Hill, program director for the Center for ReSource Conservation.
In 2016, Boulder Forestry started milling small quantities of Ash wood as part of the TreeOpp program for use in a woodworking job training program. This Knight Foundation grant funded program uses milled public Ash trees to make products and art available for public purchase.
The proposed collaboration with ReSource will expand TreeOpp’s scope to include milling wood debris into dimensional lumber for public sale. An aggressive milling process ensures the invasive pest is fully removed and that the resulting lumber meets the quarantine regulations prior to its move outside the county. While the focus is on repurposing Ash trees, Forestry will explore milling other varieties of tree debris as well.
“ReSource’s mission to put conservation into action makes it an ideal partner for the city on this project test,” said Margo Josephs, project manager for the TreeOpp program. “This first sale will help us determine if it is a sustainable option to self-finance wood debris milling once TreeOpp pilot period concludes.”
Initially, Boulder’s Forestry Division will provide ReSource with approximately 450 board feet of Ash lumber and about 80 board feet of Oak. Funds from the grant funded TreeOpp program will cover the cost for this round of milling. ReSource will sell the lumber on a first come, first serve basis. All proceeds of the first round of sales which start Saturday, June 10 will assist Boulder Forestry in covering the cost of future milling.
If demand exists and revenue generated covers the cost of future milling, the city and CRC will explore continuation. The two organizations hope this mutually beneficial platform increases wood utilization while enhancing EAB awareness.
For more information regarding EAB, please visit EABBoulder.org. For more information and updates about the City of Boulder’s TreeOpp program, visit TreeOpp.org. For more information about the City of Boulder’s Forestry Department, visitBoulderForestry.org. For information about CRC and ReSource, please visit resourcecentral.org.
About the Center for ReSource Conservation
Founded in 1976, the Center for ReSource Conservation (CRC) is a 501c3 nonprofit social enterprise dedicated to putting conservation into action. Its programs serve more than 70,000 community members each year and make it easy to conserve water, energy and materials. Learn more at resourcecentral.org.
About City of Boulder
Located approximately 30 miles northwest of Denver at an elevation of 5,430 feet, the City of Boulder is home to 103,840 residents and the state’s largest institution of higher learning, the University of Colorado. Boulder is a world-class destination with over 300 miles of public hiking and biking facilities. Its spectacular scenery includes more than 45,000 acres of open space. Boulder is a home-rule municipality that is self-governed under the Constitution of the State of Colorado.
TreeOpp is a community innovation that transforms an environmental challenge into art and social change. In partnership with the City of Boulder and BLDG 61 Makerspace at the Boulder Main Library, participants in Bridge House’s Ready to Work program receive expert training to turn Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)-infested wood debris into crafts, furniture and functional products for purchase by area residents.
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Margo Josephs, Community Partnerships and Outreach Manager, 303-413-7251
Brandon Hill, ReSource Program Director, 303-419-5418
Sarah Huntley, Media Relations, 303-441-3155