In an ongoing effort to give back to local communities and future woodworkers, last summer Rockler donated $50,000 to the Hardwood Forestry Fund (HFF) to support 2021 tree-planting projects across the country.
Rockler has donated more than $100,000 to HFF over the last 13 years to fund tens of thousands of tree plantings nationwide. These donations have helped subsidize reforestation projects in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and elsewhere.
“We’re proud to be able to help grow beautiful, sustainable forests,” says Ann Rockler Jackson, executive chairman of Rockler Companies. “The North Shore and surrounding forests are a treasure. We know this reforestation project will improve the forest stands and give us a healthy, renewable forest for the future.”
Since 1990, HFF has planted and managed more than four million trees in 30 states and four foreign countries. Native tree species are selected for each unique site, but the more common species planted include black cherry, black walnut, red oak, hard maple, hickory and ash. Every sponsored project is required to have a management plan and a harvest and regeneration schedule.
One of those initiatives, shown in the photos here, is being undertaken by Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in the Finland State Forest near Schroeder, Minnesota.
“This stand of maple has been experiencing some dieback in the crowns over the last 10 to 15 years,” says Anna Heurth, a silviculturalist with the Minnesota DNR’s Division of Forestry. “So we’re planting a total of 78,000 seedlings on this site to create a greater diversity of species.”
The area is being replanted with predominantly northern red oak as well as white pine and white spruce.
What the DNR hopes to see in the next decade as a result of these efforts is a mixed hardwood forest of oak, birch and aspen, as well as a conifer component. Heurth says the site is a perfect example of a hardwood forest that needs to be restored. “The Hardwood Forestry Fund is timber-industry directed, and that is really interesting to me,” Heurth says. “The DNR applied for a grant from HFF because (HFF) funds restoration projects like this, and they’re a really good fit for what we do.”
Rockler’s commitment to reforestation is obviously important to the future of woodworking, but the company also recognizes the value of forests as a tremendous natural resource for wildlife, recreation and learning as well as to help counteract the effects of climate change. “I think it’s important that a Minnesota-based company like Rockler is supporting our forests in Minnesota and also the Hardwood Forestry Fund,” Heurth adds.
To learn more about HFF or to make a donation, visit hardwoodforestryfund.org.