- WISH LIST
Learn how GreenWood entrepreneurs are earning a livelihood and preserving forests. See more videos of our work.
“If there were a few more GreenWoods and MaderaVerdes,the world would be a much better place.” —Dale Bosworth, Chief, U.S. Forest Service, 2001-2007
GreenWood trains artisans to make high-quality wood products, adding value to forest resources and creating incentives to protect biodiversity.
We foster self-sufficiency by promoting sustainable forest management, the use of lesser-known species, inspired designs, skilled hand-tool production and access to markets.
Help us preserve the world we love.
GreenWood & Brian Boggs Team Up!
GreenWood is rolling out an enterprising new partnership with Brian Boggs, one of the country’s most creative and meticulous furniture craftsmen. Brian is a founding member of GreenWood and, over the last 20 years, he has been a frequent chairmaking instructor in both Honduras and the Peruvian Amazon. Many of the tools and techniques he developed and introduced in the field are being applied by our artisans in both places.
This productive relationship continues to evolve. Brian was wearing a different sombrero when he went back to Honduras last year, traveling by 4x4, foot and mule to source mahogany offcuts from our guitar-part harvests on the remote Mosquito Coast. His own company is growing, fueled by exciting new designs for outdoor furniture, guitar chairs and more. The opportunity to supply these lines with materials from our community partners’ well-managed forests in Honduras represents a major “win” for everybody in the supply chain—from our local sawyers to Brian’s North Carolina workshop, and now you!
Between now and the end of the year, Brian will provide a major donation for all furniture sales that originate with GreenWood. Check out the video from Brian’s last trip to Honduras:
And follow this link to Brian’s website to learn more about this dynamic partnership, which just keeps growing: bit.ly/1djy8ws.
Tree Sculpture in the Peruvian Amazon
Brad Sells creates exquisite wood sculpture out of roots, stumps and branches—the parts of a tree that the rest of the world calls firewood or compost. He has traveled widely in search of unique expressions of “tree spirit” waiting to be released with his chainsaw: mulberry crotch wood from a tree in Georgia O’Keefe’s yard, salvaged Hawaiian koa and exotic pink ivory, royal wood of the Zulu tribe in South Africa. In early June, GreenWood brought Brad and his chainsaw to the Palcázu Valley of Peru where we have been training indigenous Yanesha carvers for the last three years. The six Amazonian villages where we work are nestled between three protected areas, near the site of a renowned USAID experiment that broke new ground in the 1980s with its “strip-shelterbelt” harvest and transformation of a wide variety of tropical tree species. (This project led to one of the first exports of tropical timber from a sustainably managed source and eventually to the founding of GreenWood. But that’s another story…)
GreenWood Identifies New Plant Species
It is estimated that more than half of the millions of species on earth live in tropical rainforests, and many—if not most—have yet to be discovered. Economically valuable plants are usually the first to be identified. But last year, GreenWood forestry consultant, Alex Karney, was surprised to find that a familiar epiphytic vine, which has been harvested for decades by local artisans in the Nombre de Dios Mountains of Northern Honduras, had been misidentified. In the process, Alex had the rare opportunity to identify and name a new species, which we expect will open the door to more exciting discoveries.
Known locally as “mimbre,” Monstera maderaverde is an epiphyte whose roots are used by Honduran artisans to weave hats, baskets, furniture and sculpture for sale mainly in local markets. An epiphyte is a plant that spends some or all of its life cycle on another host. In this case, M. maderaverde begins its life rooted in the soil, but then seeks out a shaded environment, most often a tree. It appears to grow on anything, employing a “grappling” mechanism of small woody projections to attach itself to a supporting structure—such as a tree trunk—as it climbs. Because it is endemic to a relatively small, isolated region of Honduras, Monstera maderaverde has been overlooked by researchers…until now.
GreenWood Launches New Mahogany DNA Pilot
Jurassic Park: Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You?
by Alex Karney
From blockbuster movies to a variety of CSI-inspired crime shows, the use of genetics to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks has absorbed the popular imagination. In the 2002 Spiderman film, even Peter Parker was bitten by a genetically-modified spider, rather than the radioactive specimen that was fueled by 1960s nuclear paranoia. Such fantasies may be plausible enough to attract audiences, but they make it difficult to separate fiction from fact.
In reality, genome mapping is becoming much more accessible. The cost has fallen precipitously in the last decade, and the trend is expected to continue. What might this mean for tropical forest management?