Martin’s Lumber Woods Walk – Understanding Sustainability

Free Family Fun – June 2, 2012.  At Martin’s Lumber, in the southern Adirondack town of Thurman, it’s all about seeing the forest for the trees—because they focus on keeping the trees in production for the future.

Gary and Wini Martin own a 100 acre Certified Tree Farm just half an hour from Lake George Village, and they manage their woodland resources according to the guidelines of the American Tree Farm System. Because they are passionate about sharing with their vision of sustainability, they host periodic open houses offering the public a warm welcome and a message about sustaining the natural resources that sustain us.

Feihel Gary Bill ReadyLogforMill

Kids, right along with adults, are invited on Gary’s guided woods walks. “We owe it to our kids to keep our forests producing,” Gary says, “and we owe it to their kids to teach this generation about sustainability.” He involves the young visitors in helping to identify various trees, and points out how cutting damaged or diseased trees can help the others nearby. Kids help him measure the diameter of a great-grand-daddy pine, by forming a human chain around it, then opening the “chain” and measuring its length. At his band saw mill he shows how he maximizes the amount of usable lumber from each tree, and talks about how all byproducts of the milling operation are used.

Measuring a tree 1

Wini Martin, after helping Gary and her brother Bill Good at the mill, finds time for creative projects—making paper bead jewelry and stained glass stepping stones, crafts that she demonstrates and invites kids to try, along with origami box-making as a take-home project.

FeihelGuests helps make bead 1

At the June 2nd event, other artisans will be on hand – wood worker Bob Brooks and wooden spoon maker, John Welch. Also spending time with visitors will be four descendants of various Native American tribes. Sally Haak Feihel, part Mohawk, will display and talk about medicine bags and dream catchers, and will have some small samples to take home. She will be assisted by M’icmaq descendent Cheryl Kenyon who will share some language of her people.

Abenaki descendent Bill Kenney will identify and speak about local medicinal plants, and artist Donna Wormwood will show her “Wild by Nature” paintings and “Adirondack Rustic Miniatures”, all inspired by the Adirondack forests. Local author Persis Granger will role play one of the characters from her recent historical novel “A Summer of Strangers”, in which a mysterious stranger enhances a young Adirondack farm boy’s respect for the natural world around him.

If you go: Plan to stay for an hour or two. Dress in layers for changeable mountain weather and wear sensible shoes for uneven terrain. Sun block and insect repellant advised.

Find it!

From Adirondack Northway exit 23: NYS route 9, north into Warrensburg. At the second traffic light, turn left on NYS route 418, taking across and along the river, re-crossing the river into Thurman and continuing on it as it hooks sharply left and then meets Athol Road, c. 4.5 miles. Following the Martin’s Lumber arrow sign, take Athol Rd. uphill to the right and follow it 1 mile to Glen-Athol Road on right. Travel 2 miles on Glen-Athol Road, and bear left onto Valley Road. Continue on 4.5 miles to Martin’s Lumber at 280 Valley Road. Phone 518-623-9595 for help.

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