Restoration Through Repurposing

Mackenzie Inc. and O’Brien are teaming up to tackle a big Design-Build housing project in Newport for Oregon State University (OSU). This new 77-unit building provides homes for students and professionals connected to the Hatfield Marine Science Center and helps to ease Newport’s housing crunch while expanding OSU’s coastal campus facilities.

Situated conveniently close to the Marine Science Center on Yaquina Bay, this housing spot is prime coastal real estate. But before construction could start, O’Brien’s team had to clear some existing small and scrubby trees from the site. It wasn’t smooth sailing though. Local mills didn’t want the trees because they thought they weren’t worth much and didn’t have the capacity to process them.

O’Brien’s team got resourceful and partnered with a habitat restoration company, Integrated Resource Management (IRC), and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) through MidCoast Watersheds Council’s (MCWC) salvage log program. The team carefully coordinated with IRC and ODF for the tree removal process, providing over 120 trees – roots and all – from the OSU housing project site for sustainable reuse. The trees were sent to a nearby creek restoration project run by MCWC, which is a win for both the environment and the community.

MCWC has been doing this kind of restoration work for a long time – over 20 years, in fact. Their projects have used salvaged logs to spruce up streams, tidal channels, and floodplains, making life better for all sorts of species. These logs aren’t just wood; they’re homes for fish, helpers with flood control, and champions for healthy ecosystems. MCWC is always looking for like-minded volunteers and as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, donations to its efforts are tax deductible. With creative teamwork and a focus on sustainability, they’re making a difference in the Mid Coast watersheds.

And with projects like this new housing development at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, it’s clear that taking care of the planet is a top priority for O’Brien’s team. Here’s to literally building a greener future! 🌍🏠