116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Women who want to fire up a chain saw to take down a branch or a tree can sign up for a women-only Chainsaw Academy this weekend in Iowa City.
The Bur Oak Land Trust, based in Iowa City, is offering the two-day academy Saturday and Sunday to teach basic sawyer skills, including cutting, evaluating environmental hazards, developing a cutting plan and safely operating a chain saw.
This, the first session of the Chainsaw Academy, is open to just women.
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 22-23, 2021
Where: 2339 Heinz Road, Unit C, Iowa City
Why: To learn chain saw skills and safety for personal use
Cost: $35 for weekend class
“As a young woman first learning how to saw, it was especially intimidating to me to learn in front of men my age who already had some experience in chain saw operation,” Bur Oak Land Trust AmeriCorps Crew Leader Sarah Lawinger said in a news release. “I hope a course taught for and by women can simply increase access and create a more comfortable atmosphere to best facilitate education for up-and-coming sawyers.”
Lawinger and fellow AmeriCorps crew leader Hannah Davey will lead participants through a day of in-class concepts and a day of infield practice at one of Bur Oak’s properties. Both women were certified last summer as U.S. Forest Service sawyers and have served with the Land Trust since fall 2019 when the AmeriCorps program started.
The cost for the course is $35 with equipment and safety gear provided. For more information and to register, visit buroaklandtrust.salsalabs.org/chainsaw.
The August 2020 derecho called attention to the need for chain saw skills, the trust said in its news release. The windstorm that tore a swath through the center of the state, lambasting Cedar Rapids, left more tree work than local arborists could handle.
The trust is planning another academy open to men and women in June and an advanced course later in the summer.
Bur Oak Land Trust was established in 1978 to protect and conserve natural areas for future generations. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit protects nearly 900 acres of Iowa land and manages critical habitat on 500 of those acres through its conservation-focused AmeriCorps program. AmeriCorps is a national service program which aims to support local communities by meeting critical needs.
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