Story and photos by Ann Brody Guy
Six new carved redwood benches, weighing 1,500-2,000 pounds each, made the journey from UC Russell Reservation, a research facility in the hills of Contra Costa County, to their new home adjacent to Mulford Hall today (May 7) to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the UC Berkeley Forestry Club. The new 10-foot-long benches were carved by current forestry students, fire science associate professor Scott Stephens, and Tom Klatt, the environmental projects manager with the Vice Provost’s office.
“This project has been in the works for two and half years,” said Stephens. “Maybe they will make it to the bicentennial of the Forestry Club. The historic club was created before the forestry major at UC Berkeley, and this early group was influential in the creation of the forestry major that is still in place today at the College of Natural Resources.
The new benches replace decomposing benches that have been sitting on campus since 1920, when "The Foresters' Circle" was placed in the eucalyptus grove by the then-fledgling Foresty Club. They later migrated to several campus locations, including Mulford Hall. The plaques from the original benches will be placed in a case in Mulford Hall, where there is already an extensive wood exhibit on the first floor.
The logs for the new benches were donated by Humboldt Redwood Company and each bench has a plaque, some commemorating anniversary, and some bearing the same inscription as the original 1920 benches: “May the ideals fostered here play a worthy part in the conservation of the beauty and usefulness of our forests.”