Campus News

April 18, 2011

Lullwater's fallen trees repurposed for place-based education

Lullwater's fallen trees will be used for place-based education
Fallen trees in Lullwater Preserve will be repurposed to educate visitors about the bioregion's history and ecology.

By Kelly Gray

Through a new working arrangement with a unique lumber mill in Atlanta, Emory is reusing its dead or fallen trees as wood supplies for new kiosks that will help guide visitors in Lullwater Preserve.

The kiosks, expected to be installed next fall, are part of "Emory as Place," an educational initiative about the breadth and diversity of life within the campus and bioregion.

The kiosks will include vignettes written by students about the importance of Lullwater Preserve to Emory. From each kiosk, visitors will be able to synch their smartphones to Emory's sustainability map and learn more about the history and ecology of Lullwater.  

"Emory as Place incorporates our distinctive environmental settings as living classrooms on campus," says Ciannat Howett, director of sustainability initiatives.  "Tours of Lullwater provide an introduction to the history, ecosystems and ethical responsibilities in Lullwater that support our institutional legacy.  The reuse of these trees is another interesting component in that history."

The kiosk plan originated with the Lullwater Management Committee with input from the Committee on the Environment.  Claire Wall in Campus Services brought the urban mill, Mississippi Wood Trader, to the attention of Emory's exterior services department. 

"At Lullwater Preserve we harvested three dead trees, and sent them to the mill where they were marked as trees from Emory," says Wall.  "The white oak and red oak trees are currently being dried in a solar kiln. After the wood is cured, it will be cut and assembled for the kiosks." 

Most trees that die in Lullwater are left standing to allow for natural decomposition and to provide habitat for wildlife.  The three harvested trees were located close to a driveway and over time would have been a potential hazard for pedestrians.

Typically most large commercial lumber yards will not accept urban trees, which often have hidden metal objects in their tree trunks that can damage commercial band saws and shut down production lines. 

Mississippi Wood Trader provides wood for institutional and private customers. The large trees are typically 80-100 years old, and are used for flooring, beams, molding, table and bar tops.  Or in Emory's case, new educational kiosks.

"The kiosks are another creative example of how Emory is reusing its local resources, while educating visitors about the rich history of Lullwater," says Howett.  "It's a wonderful example of repurposing the fallen trees of Lullwater and allowing them to continue as educational tools."

File Options

  • Print Icon Print