Like many US cities, Boulder, CO is losing its ash trees to the emerald ash borer invasion, despite efforts to slow the infestation. Dead ash trees are accumulating and creating a disposal issue: What to do with the dead trees?
Boulder is looking for a creative solution that will not only dispose of the ash debris but also train workers for jobs and convert some of the wood into useful products. Boulder received a $200,000 grant to prepare homeless and unemployed people for the workforce. Workers in the program learn to cleanup and landscaping. In addition, people will also be trained in woodworking, crafting furniture and art from the dried ash wood. No wood purchases are needed for the program as the EAB killed trees will provide all the ash. Similar programs have been successful in placing program graduates into private sector jobs.