Melby Funeral Home partners with Northwoods Casket Company to plant trees

Belmont School to receive five trees

Platteville, WI. — Melby Funeral Home in partnership with the Northwoods Casket Co. will plant five trees at the Belmont School on Tuesday, October 30th. Three oak and two maple trees will soon provide shade at the beautiful school. In years to come these trees may be the subject of children’s drawings and paintings or serve as “safe zones” for a friendly game of tag during recess. This is the first of many annual plantings Melby Funeral Home has planned for the area in cooperation with the Northwoods Casket Company of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Matthew Melby, owner of Melby Funeral Home says, “When I first met Julie and Jonas, I simply knew this would be a long-term relationship, that we’d be in business together for many years, and we’d plant many trees together for our communities to enjoy."

The Northwoods Casket Co. facilitates a statewide tree planting initiative by donating trees to Wisconsin communities and sponsoring reforestation projects on public lands throughout the state of Wisconsin. These donations are part of the Beaver Dam company's commitment to plant 100 trees for every casket it builds. With the help of the Department of Natural Resources and local funeral homes like Melby Funeral Home, the company has helped organize tree plantings in Beaver Dam, Sheboygan, Minoqua, Jefferson, Wonewoc, Blanchardville, and Belmont. Olivia Witthun, DNR Regional Urban Forestry Coordinator who helped organize several of these planting events shares, "This partnership is about planting a legacy. These communities and their residents will reap the benefits of these trees for years to come."

In addition to the urban forestry donations, the Northwoods Casket Co. funds reforestation projects with the DNR with one such project in the Kettle Moraine State Forest Northern Unit in Sheboygan County in 2012. According to Patricia Murphy, the Regional Forestry Supervisor, "Northwoods Casket's funding will help plant approximately 10,000 seedlings, or about 10 acres, and will be part of a larger reforestation project in the state forest." The new stand of forest will consist mostly of cherry and mixed oak trees. 

Northwoods Casket Co. has built a casket business primarily focused on Wisconsin funeral homes.  The company is committed to sustainability by crafting caskets from locally sourced, sustainable woods adorned with non-toxic finishes, natural oils, and VOC-free natural wax and oil wood finishes. Casket interiors are made from biodegradable, natural cotton, and other environmentally friendly fabrics made from hemp, flax, and wood pulp. Styles range from historic to contemporary. Above all, founders Jonas and Julie Zahn have committed to plant 10 million trees in their lifetime and plant 100 trees for every single casket the company builds.  “Planting trees is a core element of our business. Planting 10 million trees is more than a commitment to the good people of Wisconsin—it is a promise I have made to my two children,” says Jonas Zahn.

About Melby Funeral Home

Established in 1865, Melby Funeral Home has been serving Platteville area families for more than 150 years. Current owner, Matthew Melby, is an avid supporter of local tree-planting and sustainability.

About the Northwoods Casket Co.

The Wisconsin company, founded in 2006, builds locally sourced wooden caskets and delivers to every funeral home in the state of Wisconsin with next-day delivery service. The company builds a wide selection of caskets in 50 styles and finishes suitable for cremation or burial. For more information go to or call (920) 631-7077.