[IronStraw Logo]

[Mattawa Library]

IronStraw's Achievements!

When we first conceived IronStraw we had no idea who or how many people from organizations and communities would be interested enough to work alongside our dreams. The German philosopher Goethe said "Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!" We have been inspired by this.

A pioneering expedition to the Himalayas was also inspired along as the leader has said: "The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way."


[Arches of Library]

And, indeed, providence has opened many a door that truly had not existed. The most important of these doors have been the networking, cohesion and empowerment of people coming together forming productive efforts for a common good.

Our nation's 1st strawbale public library in the small, agricultural town of Mattawa, Washington is one of these fruitions. Empowered by IronStraw, the folks of Mattawa, our state's Housing Trust Fund staff, a federal Community Development Block Grant, the North Central Library System, and a group of 30 hardworking, inexperienced builders from four regional states built this handsome library on a cold February weekend.

IronStraw is proud to have built this 1st strawbale public library in the United States, pictured here on this page, and we're sure many miracles will come out of its use. If you would like to read more about our pioneering successes, please click IronStraw's Achievements for a .pdf file.

The development of our 'Youth Empowerment Program' built another door through which rural, disadvantaged and At-Risk youth have found job skills, strengthened self-esteem, and learned team work. Our programs teach leading edge strawbale building skills to youth and they respond!

Take a look at our Youth Empowerment Programs page to learn more about our youth activities.

[Youth in the Library]


"When a superior building product can be fabricated from a material that was previously considered to be waste, we have a winner in terms of sustainability..."
David Ewing, Director of the Environment for Habitat For Humanity International

[Workshop Volunteers]      Our Great Volunteer Crew!

IronStraw's Farmworker Housing Project

[Finished Farmworker Housing]

Completed Farmworker Duplexes with Solar Photovoltaic System

[Youth Volunteers]

IronStraw successfully completed the 1st strawbale farmworker housing project in the United States building six houses for farmworkers and their families. More than 100 local youth participated to help raise the walls of all six homes in three weekends! That's right - six homes, three weekends - a great success. The youth were really pumped up!

This project was all part of IronStraw's successful workshop program. Over the past five years IronStraw has lead over 90 workshops, seminars, classes, and presentations including being a guest speaker at the Washington Technical Educators Association annual conference (twice - a repeat performance to standing room only audiences.)

Contact Michael Thomas for more information about IronStraw, our programs, volunteering or assisting.

The IronStraw Group
510 E. 5th Street
Port Angeles, WA 98362
e-mail: info@ironstraw.org

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