Downed trees and branches from Oakdale are now helping heat and cool buildings in downtown St. Paul.
Starting Aug. 22, a wood-chipping crew at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve took the storm debris, chipped it up and brought it to St. Paul’s District Energy, which burned the chips and turned them into energy.
The downed trees and branches were brought to the Lake Elmo Park Reserve by the cities of Lake Elmo and Oakdale, and from Washington County Parks and highways. Dakota Wood Grinding, Inc., chipped up the branches and hauled the wood away.
Officials estimated that more than 600 cubic yards of chips were hauled out of the Lake Elmo Park as part of the project, a cooperative effort between area cities and Washington County.