Christie (Chris) and Marty McCurry are dynamic leaders in regenerative forest product manufacturing. They bring a new level to understanding the complex interconnection between society, the environment, and the potential for product makers. Both grew up and currently live in the biodiverse forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They co-founded Bark House over thirty years ago.
Christie’s development as a Regenerative Practitioner continues through Regenesis Group and enacts the technology that supports an entirely new order of evolutionary potential in Forest Manufacturing. Chris shares her knowledge and experience to engage others in understanding the whole systems at work within a place-based context of our forests – and our place in them. Chris believes that each of us must explore our land ethic and become more conscious of our values. We all have a relationship with nature and becoming more aware of it increases our capacity for maturity and understanding of our right-fitting responsibilities. The next steps become clearer. We can then take the necessary actions in the care of our forests and support the forest community.
Marty’s work as a product designer and systems engineer enables him to up-cycle forest waste materials into viable products. He identified harvesting methods that minimize the impact on forests and supports smallholder and family forestry. He created an intake process that empowers independent loggers and developed a new supply chain. Most notably, Marty engineered clean manufacturing with products that are carbon sinks, biodegrade to build clean soil, and uses no water. He established propritary grading standards for bark, as national standards to not exist. The products are beautiful and connect people to nature in very tangible ways.
Chris is educated in Nursing and has fifteen years of experience in whole-health practice as an RN. She worked her way through college and wrote a Master’s Program for her studies at the College of New Rochelle in Whole-Systems-Design.
Marty is educated in Pulp and Paper, Chemical Engineering, and Architecture. He has experience as a general contractor. Their careers have been a journey of exploring life from the cellular level through the complex systems that organize it.
Chris and Marty grew up in the bio-diverse forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. They have been married for more than thirty years and reclaimed an old family farm at the confluence of the two major creeks from Roan Mountain where they currently live with their son John. They have walked many miles of Appalachian peaks and farmed and forested in their shadow. They have traveled to dozens of countries around the globe seeking out cultures that have not forgotten their connection to the land. Their passion for the simple beauty of nature and complex systems combines with the recognition of the challenges and choices each of us faces in this world.
Bark House was the first company to make a product that earned a Cradle-to-Cradle PLATINUM level certification and earned multiple B-Corp Best for the World awards. With their combined leadership, the company has earned awards in product design such as Architectural Record Product of the Year and was a John Ruskin Finalist. It has earned recognition for its regenerative process from the Buckminster Fuller and Carol Sanford Institutes. Marty’s design of drying kilns specifically for bark earned the NC Sustainability Award. In 2008, Gibbs Smith published Bark House Style, Sustainable Designs from Nature, authored by Chris which demonstrated the viability of forestry waste in Architecture when harvested and manufactured honorably, with reverence to the forests. In 2015, The Spruce Pine Central Park was completed with Chris’s leadership as President of the Main Street Volunteer Organization.
Marty and Chris have created a new niche market in the Forest Manufacturing Sector that provides deeper value to clients, the environment, and their Appalachian forest community.