- WISH LIST
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“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.
Leonard G. Lee: Present at the Creation
Our dear friend and colleague, Leonard G. Lee, passed away in Ottawa, Ontario, on July 7. Leonard was the founder of several highly respected companies—Lee Valley Tools, Veritas Tools and Canica Design, as well as Algrove Publishing—and was a longstanding supporter of GreenWood and its progenitor, WARP, the Woodworkers Alliance for Rainforest Protection. He was “present at the creation” of WARP, having joined a handful of folks at our very first formative gathering at the World Trade Center in New York City, in 1990. He played a prominent role in the founding WARP conference at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and was a member of the organization’s first board of directors.
It would be difficult to overstate Leonard's influence on—or the sense of loss felt by—those who knew him. His humor, intelligence, curiosity and unflagging commitment to cultivating the "better angels of our nature" continue to inspire GreenWood and the many folks in the woodworking world (and far beyond) whose lives and work have been so deeply affected by his contributions to the field.
Leonard earned many accolades in his illustrious career, culminating in his 2003 receipt of the Order of Canada, the highest honor awarded to a Canadian for service to community and country. He is survived by his wife Lorraine, his sons Robin and James, and their families.
The GreenWood Board of Directors has unanimously selected Hank Kashdan to be our new Chairman. Having served on the Board for four years, Hank will replace Scott Landis in a position Scott has held since the founding of GreenWood in 2000. We consider the establishment of a new Board Chair—independent of our founder—to be an exciting milestone in the professional development of our young organization.
Hank retired as Associate Chief of the U.S. Forest Service in 2010, and he served the agency with distinction in seven national forest units across the west—from California, Washington and Oregon, to Idaho and Montana—concluding his term at Forest Service headquarters in DC. In a career spanning nearly four decades, Hank worked in law enforcement, as a U.S. Senate staffer and was Director of the Agency’s Budget Office.
A resident of Virginia, Hank holds a strong personal interest in forest- and wood-related activities and has worked with Native American tribes, small woodlot owners, and indigenous populations in Southern Mexico and Peru.
You can expect to see more of Hank’s “fingerprints” on future GreenWood developments, as he and Scott continue to work closely together to build GreenWood’s capacity and Board in the months and years ahead.
Congratulations, Hank, and welcome aboard!
Honduran Environmental Activist Assassinated
On March 3 the prominent indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres was murdered in her hometown of La Esperanza in western Honduras. A mother of four, Ms. Cáceres was subjected to years of threats for her resistance to the construction of the Agua Zarca hydro dam. She was recognized for her organizational leadership in 2015 with the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize.
GreenWood's Annual Update: 2014
It’s been an extraordinary year, in the most positive sense of the word—and the most negative. On the positive side, I returned from Mexico last week, where GreenWood and the Honduras nonprofit we founded, Fundación Madera Verde, received a $25,000 prize from the Vidanta Foundation for “outstanding, original projects to reduce poverty and inequality and combat discrimination” in Latin America. (We took third place in a field of nearly 400 applicants.) The Vidanta prize is one of two major validations we received in 2014—the other being our receipt in January of the first-ever Innovation Prize awarded by the Yale School of Forestry.
Between these bookends of recognition, 2014 also delivered some tragic losses, with the assassination of two Honduran colleagues—a young government forester and the dynamic mayor of our most dedicated partner communities. And the illegal forest invasions I reported last year have hardly abated. Remarkably, Madera Verde staff, artisans and sawyers continue not just to persevere in this threatening context, but to advance.