A new, sustainable company that works on projects around the world has taken root in the Rogue Valley and they're in the business of "reclaiming" wood.
The company is TerraMai and they've moved into the old Burrill Lumber mill in White City.
"We take wood that isn't always appreciated and we turn it into some gorgeous materials like flooring or paneling," said Ken Westrick, owner of TerraMai.
The wood gets a makeover in the Rogue Valley. Depending on the wood, a makeover can mean a trip through a planer or a molder and getting a beautiful oil finish.
Then the good-as-new wood gets used in projects around the world.
"The types of projects we get involved in is Google offices, AT&T stores, Starbucks stores, HBO offices. We've done universities," said Westrick.
"Everything from flooring, paneling, [and] tabletops on some occasions."
The list of companies and projects TerraMai is involved in goes on as more large companies have started looking for sustainability.
"We never cut any live trees. It's always reclaimed. It can be reclaimed from structures," Westrick said.
He said his company takes wood that no one else wants.
"We really take it from [...] raw material that looks ratty to just gorgeous material," he said.
"We reclaim wood from literally around the world so we get material from Southeast Asia, Brazil, from Africa," said Westrick. He added that his company has about a million board feet stored at the facility in White City.
In addition he said some of the wood is sourced from the United States and even from the Rogue Valley.
"This redwood that you're looking at came from a water pipe outside of Prospect," said Westrick as he displayed an old plank.
Once the wood made it through a planing machine, it came out looking brand new.
"It's really cool in this world of homogenization and everything, to really have something that truly does have a story [...] everyone has sat on bleacher seats."
Westrick said it's that special story coupled with sustainability that shows the value in appreciating and re-using what we already have.
In the last year the company has created 20 jobs. Westrick said he anticipates creating more now that they're calling the Rogue Valley home.
According to Westrick, he moved his company to Southern Oregon partly because of the lumber infrastructure. The company in the business of "reclaiming" wood has in a sense, "reclaiming" and breathing a bit of new life into the Rogue Valley's longtime wood industry.
If you would like to learn more about TerraMai, visit their website: http://www.terramai.com/