Wisconsin Casket Builder Launches Statewide Tree Planting Initiative

Tthe Northwoods Casket Co. has donated trees to the Kettle Moraine State Forest and three Wisconsin communities as part of their commitment to plant 100 trees for every casket they build. Beaver Dam, Sheboygan, and Wonewoc will plant the trees this week during their Arbor Day celebrations.

Beaver Dam, WI, April 26, 2012 : The Northwoods Casket Co. has launched a statewide tree planting initiative by donating trees to three Wisconsin communities and a reforestation project in the Kettle Moraine State Forest. These donations are part of the Beaver Dam-based company's commitment to plant 100 trees for every casket it builds.

With the help of the Department of Natural Resources and local funeral home partners, the company has helped organize Arbor Day tree plantings in Beaver Dam, Sheboygan, and Wonewoc with each community receiving $1000 to pay for trees.

In addition to the community donations, the Northwoods Casket Co. has also funded a reforestation project with the DNR in the Kettle Moraine State Forest Northern Unit in Sheboygan County. According to Patricia Murphy, the Regional Forestry Supervisor, "Northwoods Casket's funding will help plant approximately 10,000 seedlings, or about 10 acres, and will be part of a larger reforestation project scheduled in the state forest this spring." The new stand of forest will consist mostly of cherry and mixed oak trees.

In Wonewoc, the village board will use the donation to achieve its goal of becoming a Tree City USA, something the community has aspired to become for many years. To be a Tree City USA, a city must establish a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, organize an annual Arbor Day observance with a tree planting event, and pass a Tree Care Ordinance that establishes a Forestry Program meant to provide clear guidance for planting, maintaining and removing trees from public places. Village Supervisor Lee Kucher commented, "The Arbor Day celebration is the beginning of a new era for Wonewoc. We recognize that trees are valuable assets and this event demonstrates our commitment to establish a tradition of tree planting in the village."

A partner of Northwoods Casket Co., Steve Mitchell of Thompson Funeral Home in Wonewoc has coordinated with the village to help plan the events on Arbor Day. Students from Wonewoc High School will be planting maple trees around the high school softball diamond and throughout the rest of the village. Don Kissinger, the Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, will be on hand to teach students about the value of trees and how to properly plant them.

The city of Beaver Dam will use their donation to plant trees in the city's tree nursery, one of the only municipal nurseries of its kind in Wisconsin. John Nuemann, Supervisor of the Beaver Dam Parks and Forestry Department, started the nursery in 2003 to help keep costs down and maintain a healthy tree population in the city that has been a Tree City USA for 21 years. According to Neumann, "Every $1 spent on a sapling today translates to a savings of $50 or more later when the trees are transplanted throughout the city." On Arbor Day, John will transplant four Japanese Tree Lilacs from the city nursery to an area near the city's newly built police station.

In Sheboygan, local volunteers will plant 400 trees in Maywood Park of varying species including Black Spruce, Hemlock, Tamarack, Cherry, Oak, Cranberry, Ninebark, Balsam Fir, and Hackberry. An Arbor Day Assembly for all school students and staff will take place at Wilson Elementary School on April 27th. Northwoods Casket Co's local funeral home partner, Lippert-Olson Funeral Home, will also participate in the events along with a representative from the DNR. According to Olivia Witthun, DNR Regional Urban Forestry Coordinator who helped organize the events, "This partnership is about planting a legacy. The City of Sheboygan and its residents will reap the benefits of these trees for years to come."

About Northwoods Casket Co. - Founded in 2006 by Jonas Zahn, the Northwoods Casket Co. builds wooden caskets with Wisconsin-grown lumber and distributes them to funeral homes, funeral supply companies, and casket stores nationwide. The company mission is to provide funeral homes and families with a simple, affordable, wooden casket purposefully designed for quality and a low environmental impact. They have more than 100 funeral home partners throughout Wisconsin and the United States and can be found online at http://www.NorthwoodsCasket.com.

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