IOWA CITY (AP) — A September storm that toppled dozens of trees at a recreation area north of Iowa City provided the University of Iowa with tons of fuel for its power plant, university officials said.
The Macbride Nature Recreation Area is 485 acres that has been leased to the University of Iowa by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers since 1984.
A Sept. 19 storm destroyed numerous trees, which was considered tragic until Robert DuBay, associate director of the nature area, decided that the wood might as well be used for good, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.
Not long before the storm, DuBay had talked with the university’s sustainability experts about finding renewable energy sources for the campus utility system. The downed trees were an “opportunity fuel,” DuBay said.
“I thought we might be able to take advantage of this unplanned resource,” he said.
The trees were ground into 25 tons of wood chips and mixed with coal to fuel the university power plant.