The City of Menomonie Urban Forestry Board launches an Adopt-a-Bench program
MENOMONIE, WI (October 2023) – The City of Menomonie Urban Forestry Board is looking for individuals, families, community groups or organizations that would be willing to adopt one or more of the ash tree benches in the City. The benches were created through a collaboration between the Urban Forestry Board, City Community Services Department and the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
In 2017, Dr. Nancy Schofield, a member of the Menomonie Urban Forestry Board and UW-Stout professor, reached out to Dr. Jerome Johnson, a fellow professor a UW-Stout, to collaborate around using the wood from ash trees being removed due to the Emerald Ash Borer infestation in the City to create something beneficial. Together, they started a program to create benches from the wood of the ash trees being cut down in the City of Menomonie. UW-Stout students designed and constructed the benches as part of their classroom curriculum. Dr. Schofield wrote an application for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry grant program to receive funding for the project. The project was funded and work began on the Menomonie Ash Tree Bench project in 2017. Over 20 benches have been designed and constructed by UW-Stout students utilizing 30 ash trees removed from the City. These benches have been placed around the City and in UW-Stout buildings. The ash tree benches can be found in Wilson Park, Wakanda Park, City Hall, Leisure Services Center, Community Services Building, Brickyard Disc Golf Course, Cedarama Park and at the bus station near the Menomonie Public Library.
Individuals or organizations that adopt a bench will be expected to do a visual inspection of the bench annually and then perform any maintenance needs, including sanding and refinishing. A manual containing information about the bench, the type of finish used, and guidelines for maintenance will be provided to each entity adopting a bench.
If you or your organization are interested in adopting a bench, please contact Megen Hines, Environmental Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-232-2221, extension 1005.