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Guide Community Wood Bank Program

The DCR's Bureau of Forestry Community Wood Bank Program enables rural communities to recycle surplus trees into firewood to address energy insecurity.

13,000 rural households in Massachusetts experience energy insecurity. Communities with abundant roadside hazard trees and working woodlands have the potential to meet this critical public health need with firewood produced by local organizations.

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How a Wood Bank Works

1,000 hours from volunteers has delivered 100 cords of wood

Public and private trees are harvested during ongoing utility right of way.  The results of their forest management operations are delivered for processing.  Local Departments of Public Works store and maintain a firewood log inventory at a processing yard.

Then state and local partners use chainsaws to cut firewood logs into stove length rounds and local volunteers split and stack firewood for drying.

A local social aid organization allocates dry firewood to people in need of energy.  

 

 

Wood Bank Progress to Date (2019-2020 Season reporting)

  • Since 2015 community wood banks in Massachusetts have provided 100 cords of firewood
  • Massachusetts residents have provided over 1,000 hours of volunteer service helping neighbors in need

Volunteering at a Wood Bank Near You

Volunteers are an essential part of a thriving wood bank and many programs could use extra help with splitting, stacking, wood deliveries, and community organizing.

Currently all volunteer opportunities are closed.  Please check back to learn how to get involved in future opportunities.

Local Wood Bank Contact Information

Find a wood bank near you
Town Program Location
Athol Athol Community Wood Bank 338 Unity Ave, Athol, MA 01331
Goshen Tilton Town Farm 40 Main Street, Goshen MA 01032
Montague Montague Town Wood Bank 10 Sandy Lane Montague MA, 01351
Petersham Petersham Wood Bank Petersham, MA 01366

 

Starting a Wood Bank

Thinking of starting a wood bank in your community? Wood banks need the following elements to establish and grow. Missing one or two or three? Our office can help you connect the dots.

  • A group of people interested in helping others with firewood
  • A local need for heating assistance
  • A source of hardwood logs
  • A processing and distribution site (centralized approach) or a network of sites (decentralized approach)
  • Heavy equipment support
  • A social aid organization to help manage distribution of firewood

Assistance for Wood Bank Programs

There are several programs in place to help communities get started.  Contact Sean Mahoney, DCR Forester for more information

 

Additional Resources for Assistance for Wood Bank Programs

Image credits:  Photo by PxHere
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