Monthly archives: August, 2018

IWF Urban Wood Seminar Delivered with a Tinge of Irony

As I went about last-minute preparations leading up to welcoming woodworkers to the August 24 urban wood seminar, I had to laugh.

Standing at the podium, I pulled a red and silver flash drive from my pocket containing all four of the panelist’s presentations. As I began inserting it into the laptop connected to the projector, I noted the device bore the logo “Allsteel,” The irony that I had uploaded our urban wood PowerPoints onto the thumb drive pf this metal office furniture manufacturer randomly fished from my collection did not escape me.

After briefly pausing to chuckle, I put on my game face and charged ahead with my opening remarks introductions of the expert panel representing three distinct urban wood utilization groups: Jennifer Alger, Urban Salvaged & Reclaimed Wood on the West Coast; Joe Lehnen, Virginia Urban Wood Group of the Southeast; and Dwayne Sperber, Urban Wood Network of the Midwest.

The 90-minute presentation was well received by the audience of professional woodworkers attending the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta. They came from coast to coast and Canada. Some had experience using urban wood in their products, others were curious to learn more about how they might do so. A few even expressed interest in trying to rev up urban wood networks in their home states where none currently existed.

The program had the support of lead sponsor Wood-Mizer, plus Richelieu Hardware, Dynabrade and Safety Speed Manufacturing. All four companies are long-time exhibitors of IWF, North America’s largest woodworking event.

Read more about the seminar, “The Urban Wood Revolution Is Now! Come Join the Movement,” in this month’s Illinois Urban Wood Update.

Also featured in this issue

Professional woodworkers are an important link in the chain to grow demand for urban wood. This is why being able to take to the stage of huge industry events like IWF, and benefit from all of the publicity that surrounds it, is an important component of the Urban Wood Network’s outreach activities to spur greater awareness of urban woods potential. Earlier this summer, the story of how Riverside, IL, repurposed an historic 160-year-old oak tree felled by high winds into custom desks for its trustees, was published in Woodshop News. The national publication is circulated to more than 50,000 print and digital readers.

Sam Sherrill, the dean of urban wood, helped examine the greener side of urban wood products. His research done in tandem with Steve of Dovetail Partners, quantified the benefits of furniture and other products made with urban wood to sequester carbon, thus reducing the release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Reminders
The second installment of the Urban Wood Network’s How To Do Urban Wood webinar series – Urban Lumber – How to Produce and Market It – takes place at 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, August 29.

The Wisconsin Urban Forest Fest is scheduled for September 15 at the Lynden Sculpture Garden in Milwaukee.

The lights are always on for receiving your urban wood stories, photos and experiences to share with the Illinois Urban Wood Update subscriber base.

Enjoy the issue!

Rich Christianson

Communications Director
Illinois Wood Utilization Team
info@illinoisurbanwood.org

P.S. Joe Lehnen texted me to let me know he had the “Allsteel” thumb drive, which I had left in the seminar room. I replied that he should hold onto it and that perhaps 10 years from now it would be a valuable collectable of the Urban Wood Movement!

READ THE AUGUST ILLINOIS URBAN WOOD UPDATE



The Urban Wood Movement Surges Ahead at IWF

 

IWF Urban Wood Seminar

Rich Christianson, left, moderated the seminar that featured Dwayne Sperber, Jennifer Alger and Joe Lehnen.

Representatives of urban wood utilization groups located in the Southeast, West Coast and Midwest shared their knowledge and passion with professional woodworkers attending the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta.

The free 90-minute seminar, “The Urban Wood Revolution Is Now! Come Join the Movement,” was held Aug. 24 at IWF, North America’s largest industrial woodworking event. Nearly 80 woodworkers from across North America registered for the program organized by the Urban Wood Network.

Wood-Mizer, a leading manufacturer of portable sawmills and other wood processing equipment, is the lead sponsor of this unique program. Other sponsors include Richelieu Hardware, one of North America’s largest sources of cabinet and furniture hardware, Dynabrade, manufacturer of industrial sanding equipment, and Safety Speed Manufacturing, a U.S. manufacturer of vertical panel saws, widebelt sanders and other woodworking equipment.

IWF URBAN WOOD SEMINAR SPONSORS

Rich Christianson, communications director of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, moderated the session. Presenters included:

Jennifer Alger, CEO of Far West Forest Products based in Sheridan, CA, and president of Urban Salvaged and Reclaimed Woods, the first West Coast urban wood network.

Joe Lehnen, forest utilization & marketing specialist for the Commonwealth of Virginia, including the new Virginia Urban Wood Group.

Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products of Milwaukee and Wisconsin state lead for the Urban Wood Network.

“A lot of great things have happened to push the movement forward since the IWF hosted the first urban wood seminar in 2016,” Christianson said. “First and foremost, larger networks like the Urban Wood Network, Urban Salvaged and Reclaimed Woods and Virginia Urban Wood did not exist. These umbrella groups are bringing local networks and individual companies and stakeholders together to do business, share best practices and raise the awareness of urban wood’s potential.

“Secondly, while Wood-Mizer once again took the lead to demonstrate its fantastic support for the urban wood movement, we were gratified to have the additional backing of major IWF exhibitors like Richelieu, Dynabrade and Safety Speed Manufacturing. Their support is further evidence that the urban wood movement is gaining traction among the mainstream woodworking industry.”

Program highlights included:

• The unique source local/buy local marketing appeal of urban wood products and the interesting stories they tell.
• The environmental advantages of utilizing urban wood.
• How to find local sources of urban wood.
• How to join or start a local urban wood network.

In addition to the individual presentations, the seminar was anchored by a robust Q&A session that afforded audience members the opportunity to get immediate responses to their questions and viewpoints from the panel and fellow seminar attendees.

About the Urban Wood Network
The Urban Wood Network (UWN) operates from funding provided by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern, State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program. UWN has opened up membership to other state urban wood organizations as well as individual companies and entities. The four state partners include:
Illinois Wood Utilization Team;
Michigan Urban Wood;
Missouri Department of Conservation
; and
Wisconsin Urban Wood.

About the International About the International Woodworking Fair
The International Woodworking Fair, owned by the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association and the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America, is North America’s largest industrial woodworking event. IWF 2018 is scheduled for August 22-25 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. It is the “must-attend” show for manufacturers of furniture, cabinets, flooring and other secondary wood products. IWF 2016 attracted more than 17,000 woodworking professionals and featured more than 1,100 exhibitors from the U.S., Canada and beyond. Learn more at iwfatlanta.com.2

IWF 2018 Urban Wood Seminar Presentations

Rich Christianson

Jennifer Alger

Joe Lehnen

Dwayne Sperber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



UWN Webinar #1 On Demand: Urban Tree Removals

Urban Tree Removals – Reducing Costs and Promoting Utilization, the first in a series of webinars presented by the Urban Wood Network is available on demand.

Urban forests can be sustainably managed from ‘seed to sawdust’ by capturing valuable urban forest products from urban trees that need to be removed. This webinar shows different models of full circle urban forest stewardship that are used to reclaim urban forest products from those felled trees, and what strategies have been employed to support the reclamation of those urban forest products.

Highlights include:
The social and economic benefits of urban wood utilization
How to develop and implement a removal plan
Tree removal strategies to create urban forest products
How to identify markets for urban forest products
Who to contact for assistance
How to incorporate urban wood into policy
How to partner with an urban wood network to achieve their goals

Speakers:
Matthew Staudenmaier – City of Eau Claire, WI
Matt is the Forestry Department Supervisor for the City of Eau Claire, WI. He leads a team of 5 fulltime ISA Certified Arborists and is charged with the maintenance of over 32,000 street trees. Emerald Ash Borer and diversification of the City’s tree population will continue to be the major challenges facing his Department, along with constricted budgets and labor force. Finding creative solutions while maintaining public trust and respect has been vital to his success, including overseeing implementation of the City’s urban wood use agreement with Wisconsin Urban Wood which allows WUW members to utilize removed trees from the City’s urban wood yard.

Dan Coy – City of Grand Rapids, MI
Dan is the City Forester for the City of Grand Rapids, MI where he’s worked for the past two and a half years. Dan is leading the forestry team to improve the health and vigor of the city forest to achieve 40% canopy coverage over the city through a data driven approach that makes best use of technological advances to maximize safety and efficiency in forestry operations. Prior to working in Grand Rapids, Dan developed an urban forestry program with 3 components – urban wood utilization, community tree planting funded by log sales, and workshops & education in Elkhart, IN.

Kevin LaPointe – Kansas City, MO
Kevin is the City Forester for the City of Kansas City, MO, Parks & Recreation Department where he has worked for twenty-one years. He oversees more than 415,000 city trees which line the streets and boulevards in the 320-square mile incorporated city limits of Kansas City, MO and in the 12,000 acres of land comprising 222 developed and undeveloped parks. Kevin served on the Board of the Mid-West Chapter of the ISA from 2016-2018. He is a past recipient of the Missouri Arbor Award of Excellence, and an Environmental Achievement Award for Urban Forest Preservation for his work with EAB management.

August Hoppe – Hoppe Tree Service
August is the Past President of the Wisconsin Arborist Association, Vice-Chair of the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council, and incoming board member for the Tree Care Industry Association. He is the President of Hoppe Tree Service. Hoppe’s Urban Wood Lab Store utilizes urban wood from its tree service division. The Hoppe Urban Wood Lab Store mills lumber and natural edge slabs, selling directly to its tree care clients, and maintains a retail location where urban wood products are sold.

Watch the Webinar

Learn more about the Urban Wood Network’s How To Do Urban Wood webinar series.



GWTP Celebrates 25 Years Training Low-Income Chicagoans for Woodworking Careers

Since being established 25 years ago, the Greater West Town Training Partnership (GWTP) has trained and placed some 900 low-income adults with jobs in Chicago-area woodworking firms.

Doug Rappe, GWTP program coordinator and a member of the Illinois Urban Wood Utilization Team, has been involved with GWTP since its inception in 1993. The Woodworking Machinery Industry Association honored Rappe for his long-standing commitment to workforce development with its prestigious Educator of the Year Award in 2014.

GWTP is part of the Greater West Town Community Development Project, a not-for-profit entity that gets its funding from a variety of public agencies and charitable foundations. In addition to woodworking, GWTP offers a hands-on shipping and receiving training program. The two training programs each occupy space in a 55,000-square-foot facility that formerly housed an envelope manufacturer located at 500 N. Sacramento Blvd.

Read more about this award-winning program.

Learn more about the Greater West Town Partnership Project.



Story of Riverside’s Wind-Felled Oak Featured in Woodshop News

The tale of how a storm-damaged white oak in Riverside, IL, was salvaged from the landfill and converted into desks for village trustees was chronicled in Woodshop News, a national publication for professional woodworkers.

“The story demonstrates how a village forester/arborist, sawyer and woodworker worked together to put the more than 160-year-old tree to a higher use as custom furniture. Michael Collins, village forester of Riverside, credits the Illinois Wood Utilization Team for inspiring him to seek the support of elected officials to make the project happen.

A 16-foot log salvaged from the 80-foot tall tree was milled by Bull Valley Hardwood of Woodstock, IL. Paul Meyer of Woodstock Woodworks & Studio devoted some 450 hours to producing the trio of desks.

Click here to read the article.