Category: News

Wisconsin Urban Wood Graces Ortho’s Office

The reception area of Bubon Orthodonists in Milwaukee has a decidedly local flavor, and for good reason. The backdrop of the reception counter is wall cladding made with Wisconsin urban wood.

The reception area was designed by Rick Pipek of in.studio architecture also of Milwaukee.

Wudeward Urban Forest Products, a member of Wisconsin Urban Wood, furnished the high-quality urban wood planks used in the project.

Read more about this project.

Note: Wudeward owner Dwayne Sperber bill be a featured presenter of “The Urban Wood Revolution Is NOW! Come Join the Movement” seminar scheduled for Aug. 24 at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta. Lean more.

 



Study: U.S. Metro Areas Losing 36M Trees Annually

A new study authored by David Nowak Eric Greenfield of the U.S. Forest Service concludes that the U.S. is losing some 36 million trees each year in U.S. metropolitan areas. That equates to about 175,000 acres of mostly urban forest.

The study, published in Urban Forestry & Urban Greenery, has been cited by numerous media and websites including Science Alert. The Science Alert article notes that the tree loss totals about $96 million a year in benefits such as removal of air pollution, sequestering carbon and conserving energy by providing shade to buildings.

Urban development, catastrophic storms like Hurricane Katrina and insect infestation are among the culprits to the nation’s shrinking urban tree canopy.

The researchers used paired aerial photographs from Google Earth to monitor forest coverage in 1,000 locations for each of the 50 states across the United States from 2009 to 2014, according to Science Alert.

Read Science Alerts‘ full article.



COMMUNITIES ACROSS CHICAGOLAND JOIN TO CREATE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus announced that 95 Chicago-area communities that are members of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus have signed the Greenest Region Compact (GRC). These communities will use the GRC as a guide to implement local actions that together will promote sustainability across the region with an emphasis on creating healthy, thriving communities.

The GRC represents consensus goals that build vibrant and strong communities, and sustain healthy environments for people and nature. The common goals and practical strategies in the Greenest Region Compact come from an extensive study of what the 275 Metropolitan Mayors Caucus communities are already doing to be sustainable and what sustainability goals they have already set for themselves. Mayors contributed to and agreed to support these goals, tailored for municipal action, in ten areas that include climate, economic development, energy, land, leadership, mobility, municipal operations, sustainable communities, water, waste and recycling.

One of the goals of the GRC framework titled “Sustain a Robust Urban Forest Canopy” is the goal “Harvest and utilize high-value wood products from trees that must be removed.”

“Mayors and community leaders really put their heads together to come up with the Greenest Region Compact. Now, communities of all sizes can benefit from this collaborative planning effort and leap ahead to take meaningful actions,” said Edith Makra, Director of Environmental Initiatives at the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus.

The Greenest Region Compact assembled practical, achievable and meaningful strategies into a companion guide: the GRC Framework. This tool enables communities to evaluate their current environmental initiatives and guide future efforts. Communities that have adopted the GRC are now working together towards these common goals, using the GRC Framework to guide and track their progress.

Examples of collaborative efforts include:

Goal – Advance Renewable Energy: A national designation program, SolSmart recognizes communities that remove local barriers to solar energy and help grow solar markets. The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus led 12 GRC Communities and three counties to work together to earn SolSmart designation by streamlining local permitting, planning and zoning procedures, to make it faster, easier and more affordable for residents and businesses to go solar. Earning SolSmart designation helps municipalities prepare for solar development, an industry that is expected to grow in Illinois by 2,600 percent by the year 2030 because of a new state law.

Goal – Beautiful Landscapes That Are Good For The Environment: The remarkable and beautiful monarch butterfly is endangered and new habitat is needed to protect them. GRC Communities are helping to restore the monarch butterfly by creating landscapes where milkweed—a plant vital to the monarch’s survival—can thrive. These landscapes support other native plants that provide nourishment and shelter for other important pollinator insects and birds. Twentysix GRC Communities are working with volunteer groups to create pollinator habitats along railroad tracks, in subdivisions, in parks and around schools and municipal buildings. These gardens bring together residents of all ages to learn, work together and even enjoy honey from community apiaries such as those in Hanover Park and Westmont.

Goal – Energy Efficiency: Forty-four GRC Communities upgraded their own public facilities to reduce consumption of energy. To save energy and reduce carbon footprint, these communities switched lighting fixtures, upgraded ventilation, heating and cooling systems to maximize performance and energy efficiency. The Village of Schaumburg upgraded to high-efficiency lighting systems throughout their municipal facilities—from fire stations and Village Hall to the Schaumburg Airport to save at least $150,000 each year in energy costs. River Forest replaced nearly 900 streetlights with energy-saving LED fixtures, saving 638,000 kW hours a year—enough to power 70 homes for a year. The total energy savings by all GRC Communities working together sequesters 23,802,023 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2). That is the amount of CO2 captured by 12,717 acres of US forests in one year.

About Metropolitan Mayors Caucus
The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus is a membership organization of the Chicago region’s 275 cities, towns and villages. Founded in 1997, the Mayors Caucus pushes past geographical boundaries and local interests to work on public policy issues. The Caucus provides a forum for metropolitan Chicago’s chief elected officials to collaborate on common problems and work toward a common goal of improving the quality of life for the millions of people who call the region home. For more information, visit http://mayorscaucus.org .

About Greenest Region Compact
The Greenest Region Compact (GRC) promotes sustainability in Chicago communities across the region with an emphasis on building strong and vibrant communities. The foundation of the GRC are 49 high-level goals that have been reached by consensus; not only are the goals aligned with important local, regional, national and global goals, but they also have support from 95 communities that have adopted the GRC. GRC consensus goals guide municipal action, support mayors in their role as environmental leaders, and foster collaboration that will have positive impacts on the region. For more information, visit http://mayorscaucus.org/initiatives/environment/rec.

The GRC Communities are: Algonquin, Algonquin Township, Alsip, Arlington Heights, Aurora, Bannockburn, Barrington, Batavia, Beach Park, Blue Island, Bolingbrook, Braidwood, Brookfield, Buffalo Grove, Burlington, Campton Hills, Carol Stream. Carpentersville. Cary, Chicago, Chicago Heights, Chicago Ridge, Countryside, Crete, Crystal Lake, Darien, Diamond, Elgin, Evergreen Park, Flossmoor, Fox Lake, Frankfort, Franklin Park, Geneva, Glencoe, Grayslake, Hainesville, Hanover Park, Hawthorn Woods, Hebron, Highland Park, Hillside, Hoffman Estates, Homer Glen, Indian Head Park, Island Lake, Johnsburg, La Grange, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Lakewood, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Lincolnwood, Lombard, Long Grove, McCullom Lake, Midlothian, Minooka, Mokena, Mount Prospect, Naperville, Niles, Northfield, Northlake, Oak Brook, Oak Forest, Oak Park, Olympia Fields, Orland Park, Oswego, Palos Hills, Palos Park, Park Forest, Park Ridge, Plainfield, Polo, Posen, Richton Park, River Forest, Rolling Meadows, Round Lake Beach, Schaumburg, South Barrington, South Chicago Heights, Streamwood, Sugar Grove, Thornton, Waukegan, West Chicago, Westchester, Westmont, Wheeling, Winnetka, and Worth.

 



Vermont Braces for Emerald Ash Borer Invasion

Considering the emerald ash borer already has been inflicting damage in 31 states and two Canadian provinces, it comes as more than a bit of a surprise that Vermont has so far been spared.

But that’s about to change.

According to VPR News, the state confirmed its first sighting of the EAB in February in the town of Orange. The anticipated arrival of the EAB has state forest officials drawing up a battle plan to at the very least slow the EAB’s spread.

“What we won’t be able to do is eradicate this insect,” says State Forester Barbara Schultz in the VPR News report. “That hasn’t work with emerald ash borer. We won’t be cutting all the trees down. That just has not been effective. It’s a case of slowing the spread. That’s our biggest priority.”

In the video below, WPTZ NewsChannel5 interviews state officials and woodworkers who express their concern about the EABs potential to devastate the state’s tree population. Ash makes up about 5% of Vermont’s forests.

Illinois fought and lost the war against EAB. In 2015, Illinois joined Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri in ending a quarantine that restricted the movement of cut, non-coniferous firewood within the state.

Since its arrival in the Detroit area in 2002, EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees, only a tiny fraction of which have been salvaged as lumber.

 

 

 



UWN to Present Free Urban Wood Seminar at IWF 2018

The urban wood movement is ready to charge into Atlanta for an encore performance at the International Woodworking Fair.

The newly formed Urban Wood Network is organizing a free 90-minute seminar, “The Urban Wood Movement Is NOW! Come Join the Movement,” 1:00 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

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, and Dynabrade, manufacturer of industrial sanding equipment.

More than 130 people registered for the first urban wood utilization seminar held during IWF 2016. This year’s session will highlight the national momentum of the urban wood movement by bringing together representatives of newly formed groups in the Southeast, Midwest and West Coast. Each of these expert presenters will highlight how urban wood use is taking root in his or her region.

Attendees of this free session will learn:

• 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.
• An opportunity to get answers to your questions from our expert panel.

Each of the presenters will discuss their personal passions and experiences of creating products and profits by using landscape and other urban forest trees felled by disease, storm damage, old age and other causes. Each of the presentations will shed light on opportunities to repurpose urban wood otherwise destined for the chipper or landfill to make high-quality lumber, slabs, furniture, flooring and other wood products.

Confirmed presenters of the IWF urban wood seminar, include:

  • Jennifer Alger is CEO of Far West Forest Products of Sheridan, CA, a family-owned business that actively works to promote the use of local native species and underutilized logs including reclaimed urban wood. For almost two decades she has been a regional representative for Wood-Mizer portable sawmills. She has presented at several urban log and lumber utilization workshops and seminars focused on marketing, growing and operating a small sawmill business. Most recently Jennifer has formed and is the president of Urban Salvaged and Reclaimed Woods Inc., the West Coast’s first urban lumber trade network.
  • Dwayne Sperber is owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products of Milwaukee, WI. He has worked tirelessly to build awareness and markets for the abundance of wood from urban trees. Sperber is a founding partner of Wisconsin Urban Wood, a nonprofit focused on building networks of people and businesses that links material streams and availability of quality urban wood products and services across the state. He also is an appointed member of the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council and represents Wisconsin in the Urban Wood Network.
  • The session will be moderated by Rich Christianson, the former long-time editorial director of Woodworking Network and now owner of Richson Media LLC, a Chicago-based communications company focused on the North American woodworking industry. Through his role as communications director of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, Rich represents Illinois in the Urban Wood Network, which also includes urban wood groups in Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin, plus individual companies and entities located east of the Rocky Mountains.
IWF URBAN WOOD SEMINAR SPONSORS

Lead sponsor Wood-Mizer LLC of Indianapolis, IN, (IWF booth #6575) is a manufacturer of portable and stationary sawmills, sawblades and other wood processing equipment and accessories.

“With Wood-Mizer wood processing equipment, diseased and dying city trees can find new life in a piece of furniture that could have otherwise gone to waste,” said Darryl Floyd COO of Wood-Mizer. “Throughout the past decade, Wood-Mizer has seen a major influx of successful businesses who are utilizing urban sourced wood for their sawmilling operations and we are proud to manufacture a product that enables small businesses to be profitable with an underutilized resource. While Wood-Mizer has been educating woodworkers about the positive environmental and economic impact of urban wood for years, the Urban Wood Seminar at IWF 2018 will continue to be a step forward in saving more trees from going into the waste stream.”

While the IWF Urban Wood Utilization seminar is being presented free of charge, attendees must register to guarantee a seat at the program. Learn more and register.

For information about becoming a seminar sponsor and general inquiries, contact Rich Christianson at 773-822-6750; richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com.

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.

 



Video: How NY Uses Drones to Inspect Urban Tree Canopies

The use of drones to monitor and inspect urban forests was the subject of a two-part series published by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The DEC has a fleet of 22 unmanned aerial vehicles that are deployed to enhance the state’s environmental management, conservation and emergency response efforts, as well as monitor the health of urban forests.

For example, DEC outfitted drones with UAV natural color sensors to map damage to thousands of acres of pine trees by the invasive southern pine beetle on Long Island. What would have taken several days to map, was completed in mere hours.

For more information, watch the video and check out the stories: Part 1 and Part 2.

 

 



April 3 WERC Urban Wood Webcast Available On-demand

The Wood Education and Resource Center’s Spring Urban Wood Webcast, held Wednesday, April 3, is now available on-demand.

Presentations featured in the two-hour webcast included:

  > Update on the Urban Wood Network by Don Peterson, Glacierland Resource Conservation & Development Council;

  > Urban Wood Utilization in Kansas City, MO, by Kevin Lapointe, city forester of Kansas City; and Tim O’Neill, owner, The Urban Lumber Company;

  > Urban Wood Certification Efforts and Carbon Content of Urban Wood Products by Katie Fernholz, Dovetail Partners;

> Wisconsin’s Guidance/Standard for Using Locally Produced Structural Lumber by Collin Buntrock, Wisconsin DNR; and

  > Virginia Urban Wood Update, Joe Lehnen, VA Department of Forestry.

The WERC is a USDA Forest Service facility located in Princeton, WV.

 

Click here to access the Spring 2018 and previous webcasts
archived by WERC.



Video: Urban Sawmilling in Sacramento

Episode IV of Wood-Mizer’s Urban Sawmilling video series profiles Hunski Hardwoods of Sacramento, CA. Hunski was established in 2010 by James Hunsaker and his son Nick to salvage diseased and dying trees. The company mills them into high-quality slabs and lumber.

 



Webinar Registration Open: The Urban Wood Network – Join the Movement

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 / 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CST

The Urban Wood Network invites land owners, arborists, sawyers, woodworkers and all others interested in helping advance the urban wood movement to participate in this free 90-minute webinar.

Learn more about the UWN, its goals and how to become a member. In addition, ask questions or share your input with how the UWN can best serve your needs.

The Urban Wood Network was founded in 2017 by individuals and entities from Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin who have been dedicated to building urban wood businesses since the early 2000s.  We united to promote and demonstrate urban wood utilization. We are doing more than just saving trees from a waste stream; we are giving them a second life at their highest use, whether its mulch and firewood or premium end products like furniture and flooring.

We’ve learned from experience that the only way to have an ultimate impact, to truly establish full circle urban forestry management, is to work cooperatively from arborist to value-added manufacturer on a local level. A cohesive supply chain is the only way to get the highest product from these trees. Now, we want to use our collective experiences to assist other businesses and others to join this developing industry.

Plan on to join us for this webinar and learn how you can join the urban wood movement.  Speakers will include Don Peterson, Rich Christianson, Russel Hinnah, Jessica Simons, and Dwayne Sperber.

This webinar is provided free of charge, but pre-registration is required.  Register by April 13.  For additional information or questions, contact the Urban Wood Network at info@urbanwoodnetwork.org or 906.875.3720.

Agenda

  1. Introduction
  • Bringing Urban Forestry Full Circle – A USDA Forest Service Grant
  • Founding Members
  1. The Urban Wood Network (UWN)
  • Mission
  • Membership
  • How to join
  • How can the UWN serve you?
  1. Future Webinars for:
  • Arborists
  • Municipalities
  • Saw mills
  • Value-added
  • Retailers

About the Presenters
Don Peterson is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Resources Institute and Wisconsin Urban Wood.  Don has led the development of several forest industry related associations and has facilitated large-scale mechanized tree removals in urban settings in Wisconsin.

Rich Christianson is Owner of Richson Media, a Chicago-based communications firm focused on the North American woodworking industry and is Communications Director of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team.

Russell Hinnah is a Community Forestry Program Supervisor and Certified Arborist at the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Jessica Simons is the owner of Verdant Stewardship, a consultancy with expertise in urban wood use and other natural resources management issues. She coordinates the Michigan Urban Wood Network and the national Firewood Scout program on behalf of the Sustainable Resources Alliance and provides ongoing support for Recycle Ann Arbor’s Urbanwood Project.

Dwayne Sperber, Owner of Wudeward Forest Products, is a supplier or urban wood, an industry advocate, a Wisconsin Urban Wood founding partner, and a member of the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council.

REGISTER NOW!

 

This project is supported by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.



Virginia Urban Wood Group Creates Business Directory

Add the Virginia Urban Forest Council to the growing list of organizations upping their game to promote the creation of local urban wood networks. The VUFC recently created the Virginia Urban Wood Group and developed an Urban Wood and Small Woodlot Forestry Business Directory for its website virginiatrees.org.

The directory allows businesses throughout the state to list their products and services including custom milling, drying kiln, lumber sales and custom made furniture. Users of the guide can search for specific products services either state wide or narrow their search to a single city to find a local source.

The Virginia Urban Wood Group was created to promote the improved marketing and utilization of urban and small acreage trees as a viable part of Virginia’s forest products economy. Goals of the Virginia Urban Wood Group include:

  • Utilizing outreach, education and innovative workforce development to assist in the development of small acreage service providers which can fill a contractor void between the arborist and the traditional production logger.
  • Improving the utilization of Virginia’s urban and small woodlot forest resources via enhanced marketing opportunities.
  • Seeking opportunities to fulfill the interest and management needs of small property landowners who have concerns over issues such as forest health, fire danger and the proper management of their woods, with the ultimate goal of aesthetically managing their small forested property.

Access the Urban Wood Business Directory.