Monthly archives: March, 2019

ALOHA STATE’S GOT URBAN WOOD

Chicago, Milwaukee, Kansas City and Ann Arbor. There’s no need to think twice about any of those cities being bountiful sources of urban wood. But Kamuela, HI?

I find cause to pause.

Kamuela is on the Big Island of Hawaii and home to Kamuela Hardwoods. The company’s successful urban wood business is perhaps the most intriguing episode of Wood-Mizer’s Urban Sawmilling Series of videos.
Alex Woodbury, a woodworker, who co-founded the business with Josh Greenspan, an ISA certified arborist, says, “Up until recently, as much as 33% of our waste stream produced by our small island population of under 200,000 people was in the form of green waste, and in that green waste was an untold number of millable urban trees. For almost a decade we’ve been diverting some of that waste and producing beautiful sustainable lumber with it.”

Learn more and watch the video about this 49th-stage urban wood enterprise in this month’s Illinois Urban Wood Update.

If you are in a video watching mode, then check out the short presentation produced by Forest Proud that celebrates the omni importance of urban forests.

Also, in this month’s issue, read about Lumber Woman & Co., an urban wood business run by Tina Albright of Topeka, KS. It’s another story of homeowner who had a V8-moment about the potential of putting community trees to good use after researching what to do about a tree that needed to come down on her property.

Plus, the city of Greenfield, WI, represents a case study of how a community can take the initiative to repurpose tree removals into lumber and other wood products. The Greenfield Model is one of many inspirational stories shared by the Urban Wood Network.

Finally, speaking about the Urban Wood Network, learn how to become a member and the benefits that come with it. The initial paid membership drive has netted more than 35 founding members. For only $50 you can join these companies and entities and help shape plans to forward the urban wood movement.

Enjoy!

Rich Christianson
Communications Director
Illinois Wood Utilization Team
info@illinoisurbanwood.org

READ THE MARCH ILLINOIS URBAN WOOD UPDATE



Alabama Launchpad Jumpstarts Urban Wood Business

Alabama Launchpad is an early-stage seed fund investor started in 2006 by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama to drive innovation and job growth through startup competitions and ongoing mentoring for Alabama entrepreneurs.

In 2016, Alabama Sawyer of Birmingham, AL, was the recipient of an Alabama Launchpad award. Husband-wife team Cliff and Leigh Spencer note in the accompanying video that entering the annual competition with the intent to win is a lot of work but not without a payoff. The couple netted $100,000 and lots of great publicity.



Lumber Woman Repurposes Wood from Topeka’s Urban Forest

As the story goes, Tina Albright was inspired to launch Lumber Woman & Co. after a large limbs of sycamore tree in her family’s yard fell on her husband’s car.

According to the Topeka Capital Journal, Albright’s search to find someone to mill the tree’s log into lumber to build a treehouse led her to Tom Hogard, aka, Tom The Sawyer. Hogard milled the log but also convinced her that the wood was far too valuable to be squandered on a tree house.

She agreed and the wood instead became new flooring for the Albright’s home and food for thought to start a business around selling urban wood slabs and wood products.

Check out Lumber Woman & Co. on Facebook.

Read the Topeka Capital Journal’s full article.



Video: (Urban) Forest Proud

Forest Proud celebrates the omni importance of forests, including urban forests, as demonstrated by the accompanying video.

“Our mission is to build trust and support to manage, harvest, conserve, and play in North America’s forests in ways that address key societal challenges.” the website notes.

“We are a diverse community of forest stewards responsible for shaping the future of North America’s forests. We value the renewable products and benefits they provide us and are committed to making choices that keep forests as forests.”  

Learn more at forestprod.org.



The Greenfield, WI, Urban Wood Model

Greenfield, WI, a Tree City USA, has developed the Greenfield Model to repurpose trees removed by the city into lumber and other value-added products. The Greenfield Model is based on the Milwaukee Model and consists of three key players: the city, a container company and a medium-sized sawmill.

The model in use begins with training city tree crews in tree removal practices that that preserve their wood whenever possible. Greenfield estimates that it up to 30% of its tree removals are eligible for milling at Kettle Moraine Hardwoods, its sawmill partner. Sawn and dried lumber is sold to area companies and individuals. The other trees are used for things like pallets, mulch, biofuel, animal bedding, and firewood.

Read more about this Wisconsin Urban Wood success story on the Urban Wood Network’s website.

The GM began as a project between Wisconsin Urban Wood and the City of Greenfield and was facilitated by a 2016 grant from the WIDNR Urban Forestry Division.