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Saginaw Trees Transformed Into Benches Aid Michigan Farm Market Association

Volunteer Project Recycles Urban Logs Into Usable Product

April 11, 2010       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Benches available from Michigan Farm Market Association.

The Michigan Farmers Market Association and the Saginaw Conservation District have teamed up to sponsor an innovative Farmers Market Bench Project. This project transforms urban logs into a very useable higher value product -- a sitting bench!

The logs for the benches have been obtained from area agencies and the City of Saginaw. Many of the trees are Ash that have been lost to Emerald Ash Borer infestation.

Dan Keane, MIFMA board member and district forester, writes:

"In 2008, the Saginaw County Conservation District obtained funding through the Southeast Michigan Resource, Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council to process logs from urban trees that needed to be removed because of road safety or insect infestation into usable lumber. In my role as district forester, I was charged with implementing the project. That year, we gained important experience and generated about 2,000 board feet of ash, oak and pine lumber. As a real commodity, the wood was used for a variety of uses - some sold, some bartered and some donated to foster additional partnerships."

Each bench is 4' long, 18" tall and 18" wide. It has no back and a slight curve to the seat for added comfort. MIFMA members will have the first opportunity to purchase a bench.

The benches have been constructed by local resource professionals and with the assistance of Saginaw area volunteers. Each bench is assembled, numbered and ready for final sanding and finish.

By selling 50 benches, the project would raise $5,000 for MIFMA this year. That money will be utilized for planning and facilitating more educational opportunities for farm market operators and staff.

Says Keane: "We believe that these benches are a great member benefit and will be an attractive addition to your market this season. This can be a great marketing opportunity as well. Please show your support for the Michigan Farmers Market Association and buy a bench today!"

The benches are priced at $300 each and with first preference and a significant discount given to MIFMA members to show support for member markets and to help them celebrate their role in the growing network of independent markets throughout Michigan.

Also, check out the February issue MIFMA newsletter to see pictures of the benches and read more about the project. (

Please access the MIFMA website to access the application form for the benches and make checks payable to MIFFS and send to 172 D Natural Resources Building, East Lansing, MI 48824. Please call 517-432-3381 if you have any questions. ###

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
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