Innovative Women Leading and Using Ash Wood

volunteers building ash wood bike parking at RCTC

I was scheduled to write an article about the great ash wood utilization work being lead by women (myself included) in Rochester, but someone beat me to it! Check out this great new article from the University of Minnesota's Regional Development Partnerships: Rochester parklet showcases sustainable reuse of urban ash wood (see photo at right). 

In addition to Tessa's parklet, the title photo and the images below are of the ash wood, green roofed bike parking at the Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC). I worked with RCTC horticulture professor Robin Fruth-Dugstad, who had long wanted to try a green roof for her students, to create this parking structure. 

The project was supported with generous donations of thermally treated ash wood from Arbor Wood Co.; architectural design skills from CRW architecture + design, Inc; horticulture student and community volunteer labor; and an Extension-initiated crowdsourcing campaign that generated $1,045 from mostly local donations. During the fall of 2018, the bike shed was built by a small group of volunteers. During the spring of 2019 the green roof was installed!

This work likely inspired some of the newly installed ash wood walls around garage and portable toilets, photo at the bottom, (now being used as a canvas for a COVID-19 inspired portable art installation) in Rochester's parks and an ash wood bar at a newly remodeled Northern Hills Clubhouse. More about Rochester City urban wood use, including the new bar, in this Post Bulletin article: What to do with infected ash trees once they’re felled?

What I love about these projects is all the women that came together, built relationships, made connections and creatively used ash wood to make the community better!

Green roof
ash wood structure