Wisconsin Casket Builder Recognized for Innovation in Tree Planting

Beaver Dam, WI - The State of Wisconsin has awarded the Northwoods Casket Co. "Innovator of the Year" for creativity and commitment in tree-planting.  Founders Julie and Jonas Zahn plant 100 trees for every casket they make.  Through a partnership with the Department of Natural Resources the casket maker helps plant trees, mixed hardwood and conifer species, in both forest and urban settings.  "We believe we can make a difference," says founder Jonas Zahn.  "Not only can we build quality caskets with sustainable practices, local craftsman, and domestic materials, we believe we can set a new trend in death care by 'paying it forward' with our tree-planting efforts," Zahn says.  Though primarily established in Wisconsin, the casket builder has partnered with more than 160 funeral homes across 12 states since organizing in 2006.

Last year, Northwoods Casket Co sponsored three urban community tree plantings supervised by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Division of Urban Forestry.  The Arbor Foundation recognized the Willage of Wonewoc as a "Tree City USA" as a result of the casket builder's program.  Steve Mitchell of Thompson Funeral Home in Wonewoc participated in the Arbor Day tree planting dedication ceremony at the Wonewoc High School.  "What a great partnerhip between village, state, casket-builder and my funeral home," says Mitchell,  "everybody wins in this arrangement."  Northwoods Casket is sponsoring another Arbor Day planting for the village of Wonewoc this year.  

For 2013, Northwoods Casket Co. is sponsoring more urban plantings throughout Wisconsin including Jefferson, Beaver Dam, Minocqua, and Wonewoc.  The city of Jefferson, with help from local funeral home partners Marla Michaelis of Schneider-Michaelis Funeral Home and David Olsen of Olsen Funeral Home, will plant trees in the city of Jefferson on April 24th.  John Leiting of Murray Funeral Home and Josh Koepsell of Koepsell Funeral Home will be planting trees on Arbor Day at a local elementary school in the city of Beaver Dam.  The city of Minocqua is working with Mike Bolger of Bolger Funeral Home to plant trees along the shoreline of Lake Minocqua.  

About Northwoods Casket Co. - Founded in 2006 by Jonas Zahn, the Northwoods Casket Co. builds wooden caskets with Wisconsin-grown lumber and distributes them to funeral homes and funeral supply companies nationwide.  The company mission is to provide funeral homes and families with a simple, affordable, wooden casket purposefully designed for quality and a low environmental impact.  They have more than 150 funeral home partners throughout Wisconsin and the United States and can be found online at www.NorthwoodsCasket.com.

 Students from Wonewoc High School plant a tree donated by Northwoods Casket Company as Steve Mitchell of Thompson Funeral Home looks on.  Thanks to the donation, Wonewoc became a Tree City USA in 2012.

Students from Wonewoc High School plant a tree donated by Northwoods Casket Company as Steve Mitchell of Thompson Funeral Home looks on.  Thanks to the donation, Wonewoc became a Tree City USA in 2012.