Students Help Give Fallen Trees New Life

Students stacked the finished boards neatly in a clearing. (Photo by Katharine Sipio)

Students from Carter Sio’s ’76 woodworking classes had a front row seat as wood from trees, felled due to natural causes or damaged in storms, were milled on campus.

They participated in the in-house field trip on Wednesday, October 25, 2017. Students wore safety gloves as they helped move logs to the Woodmizer portable saw, where an operator milled the logs down to boards in minutes. The students then stacked the finished boards neatly in a clearing. The boards now begin a drying process that can take years.

Woodworking student Janaia Madden ’20 was watching as an ant filled board cleared the mill and said she thought it was great that she might one day get to use the wood for a project. “We have to let it dry out first, then we might be able to use it.”

Janaia is currently working on a box using wood from the last time the school milled in 2015.

Zoe Valdepeñas-Mellor ’18 liked to watch the process, “It was interesting to see where this all comes from. This is my first time seeing this. I like that we get most of our wood from local sources, not from other countries, so that we can reduce our carbon footprint.”

“It has long been my commitment to use material from our campus for the woodworking program,” said Carter. “It keeps our costs down, but more importantly, when we use locally sourced wood, we keep our carbon footprint very small. It’s also cool and fun to turn a big tree into boards.”

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