Colrain debuts new wood bank

The Colrain wood bank next to Colrain transfer station.

The Colrain wood bank next to Colrain transfer station. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

The Colrain wood bank next to Colrain transfer station.

The Colrain wood bank next to Colrain transfer station. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

By BELLA LEVAVI

Staff Writer

Published: 12-04-2023 12:14 PM

COLRAIN — The town has a new wood bank providing a system of wood sharing for local residents. 

The wood bank is located outside the transfer station on Charlemont Road. It is open for anyone to give and take wood as needed.

“This is a mutual aid project,” David Greenberg, one of the bank organizers, said. 

A mutual aid framework, in contrast with charity, is a voluntary reciprocal exchange of resources and services for mutual benefit. 

Wood banks have popped up around the world, and recently many towns in Franklin County have opened them, including a wood bank in Charlemont at Hall Tavern Farm and, coming soon, another in Conway at the Department of Public Waste. There are also established banks in Montague and Wendell. 

Wood banks function similarly to a food bank, allocating resources to people who need them at any given time. Although this project distributes wood for fuel instead of food. 

As fuel prices continue to rise, many in the county have a difficult time heating their homes during the area’s long, cold winters. 

While the bank is open for use, people also can indicate if they would like to give or take wood or get assistance with services in the regularly monitored Google form found online at  bit.ly/colrainwoodbank. There also are physical forms that can be found at the Catamount County Store and the library.

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While many wood banks across the region are set up in a more official capacity and are eligible for state grants, the wood bank in Colrain is less established with a capacity to grow in the future.  The wood bank was approved by the Selectboard but was described by Greenberg as “low key.”

The first load of wood to the bank came from the Colrain-Line Family Farm and now has a sizable wood pile for the taking. 

While separate from The Valley Community Land Trust, organizers of the wood bank are members of the organization. Greenberg explained many members find side projects to work on in their communities. 

“I think it is a great idea for Colrain to have a wood bank,” Greenberg said. 

Reach Bella Carmela Levavi at 413-930-4579 or blevavi@recorder.com.