Steve Clegg.

Steve Clegg.

Steve Clegg: Barking up the right tree

Chilliwack's Steve Clegg, 27, as featured in The Chilliwack Progress Forty Under 40.

When Steve Clegg sees a fallen tree, he doesn’t see inconvenience or waste, he sees opportunity.

For two years the 27-year-old owner of Clegg Woodcrafts has been creating free-formed sculptures, plaques and unique home decor out of salvaged and reclaimed wood.

He’s acquired trees blown down by wind, left by loggers, cut down by local farmers, diseased by the Ponderosa pine beetle, and those destined to be burned.

“None of the wood I use is from a lumber yard; each piece is either salvaged or reclaimed with a story behind it,” Clegg said outside his Ryder Lake shop.

“I’m like a wood pack rat – I can’t throw anything out.”

He’s also an active environmentalist.

By using salvaged wood, Clegg avoids harming live trees. He also grows his own trees as a way of giving back to the environment for all its given him.

To date, he’s grown over 250 native trees from seeds.

“I feel that if I’m taking trees out of the ecosystem, even though they’re ones that have already fallen they’re still part of the ecosystem, and I feel I should give back, compensate for what I’ve taken,” he said. “It goes full circle.”

Clegg’s love affair with wood goes back as far as he can remember.

Growing up, he spent hours with his dad tinkering away in the family’s wood shop. He took woodworking courses in school, and instead of buying gifts, he made them.

He started an arborist business after graduation, but shifted his focus a few years later and enrolled in BCIT’s marketing management entrepreneurship program. There, he was elected president of the Students in Free Enterprise Club, which under his leadership, organized a trade show for environmentally friendly businesses, which continues today.

Post graduation, Clegg was headhunted by BCIT to commercialize new technology. But after just a year in the position, he resigned.

“Wearing a suit everyday, sitting in a cubicle, that just wasn’t my style,” he said.

Clegg fell back on his love for the environment.

He started the Fraser Valley Conservancy, a non-profit environmental consulting organization that promotes the protection of species at risk and assists private landowners in becoming better stewards of their land.

In 2009, he opened Clegg Woodcrafts, where he features the live edges of wood, and retains the natural bark, shape and function of the wood in his products. Every piece he takes, he utilizes, whether it’s through his free-form sculptures, mirrors, or cutting boards. Wood chips he uses for fire kindling and sawdust he uses for mulch.

In just two years, his unique style has been recognized locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. His creations have been picked up by Harvard Medical School, VANOC, BCIT, the PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) Tour, David Suzuki, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, two U.S. senators, a retirement present for environmentalist Mark Angelo, and most recently by the deputy consul general of the Peoples Republic of China.

“What I do has a lot of added work,” he said. “But it has lot of added value too.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A mallard duck swims through Salish Pond in Chilliwack on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Snow, rain in forecast for Fraser Valley

Fraser Valley has been treated to more than a week of mostly sunny weather, but it’s about to end

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment, hits milestones in break-out year

Cory Silbernagel makes his acceptance speech after receiving the Community Advocate award during the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce 2020 Chilliwack Champion awards on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce)
Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce awards recognize businesses, individuals after unprecedented year

‘Positive acts’ honoured during Business Excellence Awards - Chilliwack Champions Edition

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near Chilliwack secondary

Third high-school related assault Rob Iezzi’s cameras have captured since beginning of 2021

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Surrey Fire Service responded to a fire in the industrial area of 192nd street and 54th Avenue early Saturday morning (Jan. 23, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews respond to fire in industrial area

Fire happened early Saturday morning

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Most Read