A drive through the County of Renfrew shows there are plenty of trees, but it seems there are many who just are not aware of they can buy local wood products.
County Forester Lacey Rose and Business Development Officer Craig Kelley are changing that. They have spent the summer travelling around the County, learning and documenting the history, business practices and products of more than 20 wood producers. The result is the “Ottawa Valley Wood” promotion.
The list of possibilities is sure to grow thanks to a Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/OttawaValleyWood) and a web site that will be launched later this fall. “The project has received very positive feedback so far,” says Kelley. Many people are surprised and pleased to see they have so many local buying options from producers who are proud of their work.”
Studies have shown a desire for buying Ontario produced wood for home projects. “The County of Renfrew hopes to raise the profile of the sustainable forest management that occurs in the Ottawa Valley and the level of employment that results from wood – in and out of the forest,” says Kelley. “It is hoped that a sense of community pride will be created in consumers with the ability to support the local economy through informed purchasing.”
The County is also looking outside its borders and will be participating in a number of trade shows, including the Fall Cottage Life show in Toronto at the end of October.