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MEDIA RELEASE: From Tragedy to Triumph -- An Ash Tree Success Story

Nov 09, 2015

New Video captures Reimagining of Ash Wood in GTA

Toronto, ON – The destruction of thousands of trees in the GTA by a tiny insect known as the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been a heavy blow for municipalities and their residents. A new video tells the story of how a group of highly motivated and creative people joined forces to repurpose the wood devastated by EAB in surprising and lucrative ways.

The video, entitled “From Tragedy to Triumph – An Ash Tree Success Story”, produced by Toronto and Region Conservation’s Partners in Project Green, examines how the pilot program takes dead ash trees from the Cities of Toronto, Markham and the Town of Richmond Hill and breathes new life into it, by making useable lumber out of it, or donating it to schools for woodworking programs or local artisans. Organizers say the program is turning an unfortunate situation into something far better. 

“The EAB was a crushing blow for so many municipalities and people alike,” Malaz Sebai, Project Manager, Waste Management, Partners in Project Green said. “But by putting our collective heads together, we found ways to reuse and recycle the dead ash wood. In so doing, we lived up to our mandate of reducing the amount of materials headed to the landfill. By collaborating, we found some very creative solutions. It’s been so gratifying.”

 In many old neighborhoods, the sound of chainsaws rang out daily as these majestic but unstable dead trees lining the streets were cut down and removed. The video shows how Instead of being fed through chippers and sent to landfills, the wood becomes milled lumber by Sawmill Sid or used for projects by the Toronto Waldorf School. 

The EAB project is the first of its kind that brings municipal partners, business leaders and schools together to find solutions to a devastating problem.

To view “From Tragedy to Triumph – An Ash Tree Success Story”, visit

For more information, visit


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