Franco Paolinelli, who has become our de facto Italian correspondent, shared some info and photos from a recent community event at which some 30 kids got to enjoy the tactile sensation of making things with wood. It was the first of three planned community urban wood workshops in Rome.
“Since 2018 our proposal o conduct ‘Laboratori del Legno Degli Alberi di Roma’ i.e. Roman urban wood workshops, is acquiring popularity,” said Paolinelli, a professional arborist. “In Rome. we have a tree pest, Ailanthus altissima, (tree of heaven, an exotic invasive species) growing all over where maintenance lacks. One interesting result is its wood is great for workshops.
“I collect pruning remains in arboricultural jobs, asking arborist firms to cut them in 30-40 cm long, 3-6 cm in diameter segments. I put them in strong bags and carry them to the workshop site.”
“This particular workshop took place within ‘Parco dell’ Appia Antica,’ a huge green area, crossing the whole city of Rome that hosts lots of ancient Roman monuments. It was a didactic, recreational, activity conducted with segments of urban wood, mainly pruning remains. The kids had a lot of fun transforming the wood into objects using tools with the assistance of our experts.”
He added that the event was an opportunity to inform people of the value of urban wood in hopes that they recognize the importance of keeping as much of it as possible out of the waste stream and capitalizing on its carbon sequestration.
“At the end of the three workshops, we put many kilos of urban wood to use and placing the wood objects the kids made into their homes, and saving them and their carbon from landfills.”