Tag: Urban Wood Network

Michigan Urban Wood Network Launches Website

The Michigan Urban Wood Network (MUWN) has launched a new website: MiUrbanWoodNetwork.com.

The new website coincides with efforts to create a state-wide network of urban wood stakeholders from arborists and tree care professionals through sawyers and woodworkers. The Michigan Urban Wood Network will build on the foundation of the Urbanwood Project which began in 2005 as part of Recycle Ann Arbor and the Southeast Michigan Resource Conservation and Development Council’s efforts to encourage more recycling of dead urban trees, especially those killed by the emerald ash borer. Among other things, local member sawmills sell urban wood lumber and slabs through the Recycle Ann Arbor ReUse Center and Habitat of Humanity ReStores.

The MUWN is supported by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program and is organized by the Sustainable Resources Alliance. Additional assistance comes from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. In addition, the MUWN is affiliated with the Urban Wood Network, which also includes urban wood utilization organizations in Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Membership to the Michigan Urban Wood Network is available to businesses, organizations and individuals interested in finding the highest and best use of Michigan’s urban forest resources. A listing on the group’s website is open to all who agree to the basic membership tenets of the Urban Wood Network.

DEC Update: Join the Urban Wood Network

The Urban Wood Network, a multi-state collaborative project led by Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin, is opening up membership to other organizations and unaffiliated urban wood stakeholders.

The Urban Wood Network (UWN) will promote the UWN brand as an assurance of sustainability and stewardship of urban wood utilization; develop a long-term structure for membership and longevity of the UWN; and provide services to members to assist them in meeting their short and long-term goals.  Members agree with the UWN’s key tenets.

While the Illinois Wood Utilization Team is a founding member of UWN, I encourage you to check out the membership agreement. If you subscribe to the central tenants of membership, then take advantage of the opportunity to sign on as a charter member. Free membership is being offered through June 18, 2018.

Learn more in this month’s Illinois Urban Wood Update.

Also in the December issue:

  • The most-clicked urban wood news and blog posts of 2017;
  • An interview with Laureen Blissard, technical director for the GreenBuilder Coalition and principal of LTLB Envirotecture of Naperville, IL, a strong advocate of environmental sustainability, including urban wood utilization and its role in LEED building credits;
  • Download for free a copy of Wood-Mizer’s Urban Sawmilling Guide, featuring articles by Sam Sherrill and case studies of successful urban wood businesses.

If I can offer a resolution to add to your list, don’t be shy about sending us your urban wood stories, photos, videos, events, comments, etc.

May the New Year bring you peace, health and prosperity.

Rich Christianson
Communications Director
Illinois Wood Utilization Team



Invitation to Join the Urban Wood Network

UWN-logoThe Urban Wood Network (UWN) appreciates your interest and would like to invite you to join us.

Free membership is being offered through May 31, 2018.

UWN partners have been dedicated to building urban wood businesses since the early 2000’s and united to promote and demonstrate urban wood utilization. Our mission is to inform, collaborate, and connect to build business and consumer confidence in the urban wood industry. Firstly, joining the urban wood movement means becoming a valuable link in the urban wood supply chain. And secondly, it means connecting with other efforts around the country. The more we position the industry as a cohesive group, the greater awareness we can bring to urban wood utilization and the better access we can provide to those who want to grow with it.

The Urban Wood Network is committed to work in partnership with the full diversity of industry stakeholders to build a common understanding, language, commitment, and eventually, brand for the urban wood marketplace.

If you currently belong to another organization whose primary goal is promoting urban wood utilization, we are interested in that organization partnering with us and becoming an UWN member. You would then be a part of UWN through that organization. If there isn’t such an organization in your state, then we welcome you as an UWN member and will assist you in building an organization in your state.

What does membership involve? To be an UWN member simply sign the attached agreement, if you agree with the tenets in the agreement. Because of the funding we have received from a USDA Forest Service grant, we are able to offer UWN membership at no cost through 6/30/18. UWN will continue to work on developing our network, organizational structure, dues structure, sponsorships, and member benefits with the plan to have UWN fully functional as a service organization by then.

Download UWN Membership Agreement

Agreements can be sent via email to info@urbanwoodnetwork.org or by postal mail to 1353 W. Hwy US 2, Suite 2, Crystal Falls, MI 49920.

Thank you for your interest; we look forward to receiving the signed agreement from you. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.


UWN Partners
Rich Christianson, Illinois
Jessica Simons, Michigan
Russell Hinnah, Missouri
Don Peterson, Wisconsin

Fall Urban Wood Utilization Webcast Available On Demand

WERC-Fall-2017-WebcastThe Fall 2017 Urban Wood Utilization webcast, hosted by the Wood Education and Resource Center on Oct. 10, is available for on-demand download.

Highlights include updates of the Urban Wood Network by Don Peterson, and the new Virginia Urban Wood group by Joe Lehnen.

Here’s the full agenda:

Urban Wood Utilization Webcast Agenda, October 10, 2017

1:00 p.m. Introduction and Overview
– Ed Cesa, US Forest Service, Wood Education and Resource Center

1:10 p.m. Update on International Society of Arboriculture’s BMPs for Urban Wood
– Eric Wiseman, VA Tech

1:20 p.m. Update on the Four State Bringing Urban Forestry Full Circle Project
– Don Peterson, Glacierland Resource Conservation & Development Council

1:40 p.m. VA Urban Wood Group Update
– Joe Lehnen, VA Department of Forestry

1:50 p.m. Firewood Processing Productivity Study Update
– Harry Watt, NCSU Wood Products Extension

2:00 p.m. The Urban Forest Resource – Building Supply Chains for the Future
– John Stephenson, Stephenson Tree Care

3:00 p.m. Final Comments and Date for Next Webcast
– Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 1:00 p.m. EDT

Download the Webcast


Why Schmidt Custom Floors Joined the Urban Wood Movement

Urban-Wood-Network-LogoSchmidt Custom Floors of Waukesha, WI, is one of many urban wood success stories featured on the new UrbanWoodNetwork.org website. 

Wayne Lepak, who handles sales training and product procurement, explained how Schmidt Custom Floors expanded its product offerings to include hardwood flooring made with locally-sourced urban wood.

“We get a number of customers asking for reclaimed wood, and urban wood is another specialty item that has a nice story customers want,” Lepak said. “Urban wood flooring hasn’t been around for that long. In some cases, we introduce it to customers who have never heard of it before. We also offer urban wood availability to architects and design professionals in search of it.”

Read the full interview with Lepak and other urban wood success stories at the Urban Wood Network website.



The big news in this month’s Illinois Urban Wood Update is that UrbanWoodNetwork.org is live and serving as a beacon to urge all who visit – municipal mangers, arborists, sawyers, lumber sellers, woodworkers, designers and more – to “Join the Movement.”

Urban Wood Network’s mission manifold: “to inform, collaborate, and connect to build business and consumer confidence in the urban wood industry. Whether you are looking to expand your existing model or want to start a new business dedicated to urban wood, click here to see how we can help you be successful.”

The website’s launch represents a collaboration of the wood utilization teams of the four states participating in the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle project funded by the U.S. Forest Service: Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin.

This is only phase one. Websites are created to change with the times. The Urban Wood Network welcomes and encourages your feedback to make the site more valuable and relevant.

Also featured in the July Update is a pair of worth-a-look videos:
First, watch how Tom Hogard, a.k.a. Tom The Sawyer found a solution to milling a 5,000-pound burr oak log that was way too big for his portable sawmill to handle.

Then, watch and listen to the urban wood “elevator pitch” succinctly uttered by Sean O’Brien, owner of Pacific Coast Lumber.

Finally, kudos to our brethren in Virginia for organizing the Mid-Atlantic Urban Wood Conference set for Aug. 15-16 in Richmond, VA. It’s great to see so many exciting urban wood activities springing up all over the nation.

Until next time, don’t forget to share your urban wood news!

Enjoy the issue.

Rich Christianson
Communications Director
Illinois Wood Utilization Team


The Urban Wood Network Launches New Website

Urban-Wood-Network-Home-PageCrystal Falls, MI — The Urban Wood Network, a multi-state collaborative project that is promoting full-circle urban forest management, announces the launch of its new website: urbanwoodnetwork.org. The website serves as an industry resource for those interested in: adding urban wood to their existing business model; starting a new company dedicated to urban wood; joining a statewide network for urban wood providers; or starting a new network in their state.

The Urban Wood Network is made up of urban forestry efforts in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin, working collaboratively to capture the full worth of community trees from seed to sawdust. This often means expanding the public benefits of urban trees, from shade to finished wood products.

Urban wood, which is wood processed from felled urban and community trees, can be used for a wide range of products. Any piece of wood that can produce lumber can be used for a broad range of general and specialty use products from flooring to one piece table tops. Lesser quality wood can be used for playground/trail chips, mulch, firewood, or pulpwood. The Urban Wood Network always promotes the highest use that is economically achievable.

“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,” said Don Peterson, on behalf of the Urban Wood Network. “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 other states to join this developing industry.”

Keys to Success
Urban wood success stories are a main feature of urbanwoodnetwork.org. The success stories highlight municipalities, arborists, sawmills, suppliers, manufacturers and makers, and design professionals that have put urban trees to better use, and demonstrate the social and economic benefits of doing so.

An interview with Recycle Ann Arbor’s Kirk Lignell tells how the urban wood supplier located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, grew dramatically after the Emerald Ash Borer destroyed local ash trees. Now Recycle Ann Arbor’s urban wood supply chain includes six different sawmills. Customers range from artisans to furniture makers.

The City of Eau Claire success story tells how this municipality partners with local sawmills through a Use Agreement, allowing them access the city’s marshalling yard to recover and utilize removed trees.

Full Circle Grant
In 2014, the four states of the Urban Wood Network received funding support for their project “Bringing Urban Forestry Full Circle: Localized Approaches for Capturing Value and Enhancing Public Benefits of Urban Forests.” Funding is from the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program.

The project aims to build regional and national awareness of the urban wood market, strengthen the urban wood supply chain, and build a common platform for the urban wood marketplace.

“It is interesting how many partners have been involved over the years, so many people at different levels trying to work together to create a strong market for urban wood products,” said Jessica Simons, on behalf of the Sustainable Resources Alliance in Michigan. “It says a lot about this kind of movement when different agencies, organizations, and businesses are excited to work together to make it happen.”

About the Urban Wood Network
The Urban Wood Network seeks to inform, collaborate, and connect to build community, business and consumer confidence in the urban wood industry. It is made up of individual and organizational efforts in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin that have been dedicated to building urban wood awareness since the early 2000s. They are united today to promote and demonstrate urban wood utilization. Learn more at www.urbanwoodnetwork.org

Urban Wood Utilization Webcast Set for April 11

Prof. Dan Cassens conducts a sawmill demo.

Prof. Dan Cassens conducts a sawmill demo.

The agenda for the biannual Urban Wood Webcast has been set. The webcast, which will feature updates of urban wood activities in the Midwest and other parts of the country, is scheduled for 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EST) Tuesday, April 11.

The webcast is presented by the Wood Education and Resource Center, a service of the Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry of the U.S. Forest Service.



Urban Wood Utilization Webcast Agenda

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Eastern

Focus: Recent urban wood utilization activities.

1:00 pm – Introduction and Overview
— Ed Cesa, US Forest Service, Wood Education and Resource Center

1:10 p.m. – Introducing Urban Wood To Design Professionals and Update on the Four State Bringing Urban Forestry Full Circle Project
Dwayne Sperber, Wudeward Urban Forest Products

     Full Circle Project state updates:

– IL Update, Richard Christianson

– MI Update, Jessica Simons

– MO Update, Russell Hinnah

– WI Update, Sabina Dhungana

1:55 pm – DC Urban Wood Utilization Efforts

– Brian LeCouteur, DC Council of Governments

2:10 pm – Street Trees as a Source of Urban Timber in Washington, DC

– Alex Grieve, Graduate Student, Virginia Tech

2:40 pm – Firewood Processing Productivity Study Update and Upcoming Workshop 

– Harry Watt, North Carolina State University Wood Products Extension 

2:50 pm – VA Urban Wood Group Update

– Joe Lehnen, Virginia Department of Forestry

3:00 pm – Final comments and date for next webcast  

Next Webcast: 1:00 pm Eastern, Tuesday, October 10, 2017