The burning question that has been plaguing us for the past year is best summarized by a line from Chris Fortin’s epic song about the Oak Tree Boys: “Wacha gonna do with all that wood!”

With something like 40-50 tons of wood in storage and endless inquiries for either raw or finished pieces of the tree, the need for action is apparent.  It has become obvious that we are in need of professional help to provide the equipment, expertise and manpower needed to transform this huge amount of wood from its current condition into useable sections for all manner of wood projects.

Earlier this summer, we were approached by Keith Keiling and David Schneck with a possible solution to our situation.  You may remember that Keiling Tree managed the entire tree takedown in April 2017 and David operated the logging truck that moved all of the wood as it was cut to its current storage site.  Together, they proposed taking over the processing and marketing of the wood on our behalf.  This proposal has been developed into a formal agreement approved by Session whereby ownership of the wood has been transferred to Keiling Tree and David Schneck Logging (K&S). In return, K&S will take responsibility for all expenses involved in the storage, processing and marketing of the wood.  K&S has also pledged 10% of revenues as a donation to BRPC.  The Oak Tree Task Force will serve as advisors for the project to assist where possible.

Some projects already in motion will not be part of this agreement.  These include:

  • The signature tables to be created by Frank Pollaro for our Sanctuary and for the Bernards Township conference room
  • A large cross section of the main trunk which is in storage and is slated for display somewhere on the church campus
  • A new batch of laser etched discs which are available now with a suggested donation of $75 to BRPC

In the coming weeks, publicity will begin with notices via email and social media to the congregation and the community at large announcing the program while at the same time milling and cutting of the wood will commence at the storage site.

We are all excited that our precious Oak Tree will be starting a new phase of its life as this gift from God keeps on giving.

Bill Emmitt and Jon Klippel
For the Oak Tree Task Force