Tag: Wisconsin Urban Wood

Wisconsin Urban Wood Signs on as Wisconsin DNR Green Tier Charter

Secretary's Director JD Smith, left, and State Forester Fred Souba Jr., right, celebrate the signing of a Green Tier charter with Wisconsin Urban Wood's Executive Director Twink Jan-McMahon (Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR)

Secretary’s Director JD Smith, left, and State Forester Fred Souba Jr., right, celebrate the signing of a Green Tier charter with Wisconsin Urban Wood’s Executive Director Twink Jan-McMahon
(Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR)

MADISON, WI – Improving urban forest management practices took a step forward Friday with the signing of a Green Tier charter by Wisconsin Urban Wood and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Wisconsin Urban Wood is a network of independent businesses and nonprofit organizations that promotes the utilization of urban wood. As a network, WUW is instrumental in working to keep urban ash trees from simply being chipped to minimize the spread of emerald ash borer. The group also works to connect the supply of the wood to those who can turn the logs into a valuable commodity. In addition, WUW promotes the societal environmental and economic value of urban wood to communities and property owners across Wisconsin.

“We are glad to be partnering with Wisconsin Urban Wood in its mission to help turn quality timber cut from urban trees into usable lumber, furniture, flooring and other valuable wood products,” said DNR’s Secretary Cathy Stepp.

The celebration, held today at Prima II Apartments in Fitchburg, culminated with the signing of an environmental results Charter by Wisconsin Urban Wood’s Executive Director Twink Jan-McMahon and DNR Secretary’s Director JD Smith. Those in attendance included WUW partners, arborists, representatives from the WI Urban Forestry Council, city of Madison, DNR Forestry staff and Avante Properties, who have incorporated urban wood in their apartment designs.

The WUW Charter provides value to Wisconsin by:

  • supporting WUW to serve as a champion for urban wood and act as a connection between the traditional and urban wood industries, municipalities, counties and end users;
  • filling critical roles on committees and advisory teams;
  • collaborating on initiatives to seek and address current or emerging issues affecting urban wood utilization in Wisconsin and to provide training when needed; and
  • providing urban forest owners with a network of arborists who are practicing sound business management practices by following WUW governing documents and DNR’s best management practices, and guidelines,

“WUW is pleased to serve as an urban wood champion for the DNR,” said WUW’s Jan-McMahon. “We look forward to building on our mutual efforts to promote urban wood utilization across the state for the sake of Wisconsin urban forests and their communities.”

More details about Wisconsin Urban Wood and Green Tier can be found the on the DNR’s Green Tier website. Green Tier is a voluntary program administered by the DNR. Under this program, DNR works with entities who conduct their business with beyond compliance efforts and continually look for ways to improve. Currently there are 82 participants with 248 facilities in the program along with six Green Tier Charters.

Check out the Wisconsin Urban Woods Green Tiers Charter.



Cover Treatment for Wisconsin Urban Wood

The rise and growth of Wisconsin Urban Wood is the cover story of the Winter 2017 edition of Your Family. 

Twink Jan-McMahon, executive director of Wisconsin Urban Wood, graces the cover. She and several members of WUW, discuss how the group got started and how it has grown to more than 30 members and counting. The article notes several benefits of repurposing urban trees including carbon sequestration, supporting local businesses and economies, removing usable wood from the waste stream and crafting custom wood  products.

Download the article and scroll down to page 22.



Book Chronicles Urban ‘Tree to Table’ Movement

By Rich Christianson

In his new book, “Tree to Table: Emergence of the Urban Wood Movement,” author Paul Morrison makes it abundantly clear that he did not get into the urban wood business to get rich quick.

If only money mattered, he would never have quit his “comfortable job” as an engineer. But a passion for wood and woodworking ultimately won out after he purchased a portable sawmill ostensibly because he was “too cheap to buy good wood.”

As his log pile grew “out of control” he quit his day job to devote his full time and energy to milling community and other non-commercial forest trees into lumber and fabricating that material into custom furniture. Over the course of the last 15 years, Morrison has built up The Wood Cycle of Oregon, WI, as a successful custom woodworking business and urban wood lumber source serving the greater Madison area.

Morrison draws a parallel between the urban wood and farm to table movements, with an important distinction that tables are literally made of wood. Both of these movements embrace contemporary social attitudes including sustainability and supporting local businesses and economies. Added to this is craftsmanship, which Morrison notes is sorely lacking at most furniture retail showrooms in which a large percentage is manufactured thousands of miles away in China.

Morrison’s book delves into the opportunities and challenges of operating an urban wood products business. He also emphasizes the need to develop a network to be successful and points to Wisconsin Urban Wood, which he is a founding member. He drives home these points with personal anecdotes of projects he has completed .

Tree to Table is an easy and rewarding read. I personally enjoyed the book and heartedly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about urban wood movement, especially those looking to make a living in this space or those already involved seeking hints at opportunities they might have missed.

Tree to Table is available for $19.95 from Past 9 Publishing. Click here to order a copy or learn more.



First Release: Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide

Illinois Wood Utilization Team

A new national directory dedicated to helping connect tree care professionals, sawyers, woodworkers and other urban wood enthusiasts was recently released by the Urban Forest Full Circle Network. The Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide made its formal debut at the Aug. 26 urban wood utilization seminar held during the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta.

The guide includes 43 known national, regional, state and municipal sources of information. These sources include urban wood utilization networks, sawmill directories and more. Also included are links to seven publications focused on putting community, landscape and other non-commercial forest trees to their best and highest valued use after they are removed. These trees were felled by invasive pests, storms, development and other end-of-life causes.

The guide and the work of the Urban Forest Full Circle Network was made possible through grant funding provided by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area, an equal opportunity provider and employer.

The Urban Forest Full Circle Network includes:

  >>> Illinois Wood Utilization Team;

  >>> Southeast Michigan’s Reclaimed Urban Wood Marketplace;

  >>> Missouri Department of Natural Resources; and

  >>> Wisconsin Urban Wood.

The Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide is a work in progress and is subject to change without notice. This guide will be periodically updated. For listing consideration, contact info@illinoisurbanwood.org.

Access the Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide



Magazine Profiles Baraboo Woodworks’ Urban Wood Model

Baraboo-Woodworks-FeatureBaraboo Woodworks, a member of Wisconsin Urban Wood, was recently featured in Madison Essentials magazine.

The business, focused on converting end-of-life landscape trees into lumber and custom furniture, was launched a year ago by Fred Clark, who previously served three terms in the Wisconsin State Assembly. Clark, a professional arborist, is also executive director of the Forest Stewards Guild.

“The entire concept of Baraboo Woodworks is to connect local wood with local buyers,” Clark told the magazine. “We want to create better options and reduce waste by connecting forests and tree owners with people who care about local products and locally made materials.”

Read the full story.

 



Great News! Urban Wood Shines in WI Hotel Makeover

Oxbow Hotel, urban wood, Eau Claire WoodworksBy Rich Christianson

It’s awesome to see urban wood receiving positive media attention.

Wisconsin Urban Wood and the urban wood movement at large recently received an excellent plug from WEAU TV of Eau Claire, WI.

The TV station ran a profile of current efforts to refurbish the Oxbow Hotel in the city’s downtown with more than 150 furniture items crafted from recycled urban wood. The list of products includes 30 headboards, bar stools, restaurant table and more.

Leading the charge is Tim Brudnicki, owner of Eau Claire Woodworks. Brudnicki, a multi-award winning furniture designer/fabricator, is a member of Wisconsin Urban Wood, a non-profit group that has forged a network of woodworkers, sawyers and tree care specialists to repurpose trees lost to disease, storm damage, etc. into valuable lumber and wood products. The majority of wood being used in the Oxbow Hotel project comes from City of Eau Claire ash trees subject to infestation by the deadly emerald ash borer.

WEAU’s short video report is definitely worth checking out.

 



eco Urban Timber Turns Dead Ash into Cash

Eco-Urban-Timber-Light-BoxEntrepreneurial woodworking artisan Julie McFadden launched eco Urban Timber LLC last year upon realizing the potential of salvaging high-value wood from the city of Eau Claire’s urban forests traumatic battle with the deadly emerald ash borer.

McFadden’s entre into the urban wood products business was recently chronicled by VolumeOne, news from Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley.

“Ash is such a beautiful wood, and the maples and some of the other woods that are in the urban setting make really interesting furniture,” McFadden told VolumeOne.

eco Urban Timber participates in the Chippewa Valley Urban Wood Project launched in 2014 as part of a collation of Leadership Eau Claire, the Wisconsin DNR and the city of Eau Claire’s efforts to encourage more recycling of dead urban trees, especially those we are anticipating being killed by the emerald ash borer. The project involves many local businesses that have joined together to provide a wide selection of sustainable wood products.

eco Urban Timber sells its products on etsy. They include the Tree of Life Shadow Box, Yoga Cat Tablet Stand, Eau Claire Beer Caddy and Minnesota Wine Rack.

eco Urban Timber is a member of Wisconsin Urban Wood, which is one of three grant partners with the Illinois Wood Utilization Team. The others are in Michigan and Missouri.



‘What to Do with Urban Wood’ Symposium Coming Jan. 7, 2016

The symposium will include a portable sawmill demonstration at Petrifying Springs golf course.

The symposium will include a demonstration of mechanized tree removal at Petrifying Springs Park & Golf Course.

“What to Do with Urban Wood.”

That’s a loaded question if there ever was one and the answers will be presented at the Symposium on Large Scale Urban Tree Removal & Utilization Thursday, January 7 in Somers, WI.

With the increased number of trees killed by invasive insects and disease, municipalities are trying to find the most economical way to remove trees, while also encouraging alternative uses for urban wood materials rather than disposal of them in a landfill.

This program will provide attendees the opportunity to learn about current urban wood utilization efforts, urban tree removal options, markets for urban wood and to participate in a panel discussion on the Kenosha County Parks Tree Removal Project. An outdoor session will include a demonstration of mechanized tree removal.

Speakers include:

  • Scott Koerner, owner of Koerner Forest Products, a multi-faceted timber harvesting and trucking company.
  • Scott Lyon,  Forest Products Services Specialist of WDNR, provides assistance to forest products companies and private individuals, including wood utilization and marketing plans for trees affected by invasive species, disease or storm damage.
  • Jon Rudie, Parks Director for Kenosha County, has worked for the organization for more than 40 years.
  • Kim Sebastian,  a Regional Urban Forestry Coordinator of WDNR, assists communities in building sustainable tree care programs with strong, local support through technical and public awareness assistance, education, training and resource development.
  • Don Peterson, Executive Director of the Sustainable Resources Institute ( SRI), has more than 30 years of experience with timber sales and marketing forest industry products; he has been working on urban wood utilization projects for the past 13 years.
  • Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products, is a founding partner of Wisconsin Urban Wood, and was appointed to the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council in 2014.

During the afternoon session at nearby Petrifying Springs Park & Golf Course, attendees will be able to observe urban tree felling and removal operations with mechanized logging equipment. This type of equipment has been used to remove large amounts of trees in several Wisconsin communities. Mechanized removal is one of the safest and most efficient tree removal methods and often a low cost option to remove a large number of urban trees under the right circumstances while also producing the volumes of wood needed to effectively market urban wood.

The program is being organized by the Sustainable Resources Institute, Kenosha County Parks Department, WDNR Division of Forestry, USDA Forest Services’ Forest Products Marketing Unit, and Wisconsin Urban Wood.

Registration is $20 per person and includes lunch. Click here to register: sustainableinc.org/events.

For additional information, contact Kari Devine at kari@sustainableinc.org or 877-284-3882.