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IllinoisUrbanWood’s Top 10 Countdown

By Rich Christianson

The eyes have it!

The final votes are in and the Top 10 most-viewed posts on IllinoisUrbanWood.org are known.

Activity on the Illinois Urban Wood Utilization Team’s website finished 2016 with 7, 349 visitors who clicked through 17,412 pages. Both of these totals are more than double that of 2015.

Here’s a quick reverse-order recap of the most popularly viewed posts last year.

10. Video: Tom The Sawyer Mills Black Walnut for Figure
Tom Hogard, aka Tom The Sawyer, of Eudora, KS, demonstrates how to maximize the figure of logs with “flaws” including sweep or crotches. Read more.

9. Woodworking Enthusiasts Get a Taste of Urban Wood
Woodworkers of all ages get an opportunity to craft products from wood salvaged from Chicago Park District trees. Read more.

8. Historic Bell Tolls for Urban Wood Display
Jeff Perkis used red oak milled from one of the downed trees to create a display stand for a historic train bell. It will become a permanent exhibit at the West Chicago City Museum. Read more.

7.  Illinois Sawmill Directories Updated
The Forestry Division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources recently released a pair of newly updated sawmill directories, one featuring custom sawyers and the other dedicated to stationary sawmilling operations. Read more.

6. Passions Flow at IWF Urban Wood Seminar
Three presenters – representing three very diverse business models – chorused their praise for urban wood during a unique seminar held Aug. 26 at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta. Read more.

5. Diverse Audience Unites at Urban Wood Event
Arborists, foresters, sawyers, architects, woodworkers and other professionals came together at the Bringing the Urban Wood Full Circle Conference to learn and share ideas for propelling the urban wood market. Read more.

4. Couple ‘Sacrificed Our Entire Lives’ for Urban Wood Business
Rob and Zoe Bocik left the 9-to-5 rat race six years ago to pursue their dream of milling lumber and crafting furniture, jewelry and other products from local trees otherwise destined for the chipper or landfill. Read more.

3. Arborist Pursues His Passion with Urban Wood Start-up
Dobnick Timberworks has joined the Illinois urban wood  movement, opening up a lumber and custom wood products business in Oswego, IL. Read more.

2. Urban Wood Products Showcase Winners Strut Their Stuff
The Urban Wood Products Showcase, featured at the March 2016 Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference, shined a bright spotlight on the design creativity of the entries that ranged from tables and wall hangings to a bell stand and soccer ball all crafted from urban wood. Read more.

1. First Release: Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide
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. Read more.



Event to Highlight ‘Urban Wood from Coast to Coast’

“Urban Wood from Coast to Coast” is the working title of a three-hour session planned for the annual Partners in Community Forestry Conference Nov. 20-21 in Cleveland, OH.

This interactive session will tentatively include information and project examples from Baltimore, MD; throughout California, and the Upper Midwest region. The session will demonstrate how urban trees and wood deconstruction materials are being put to use as value materials through local networks across the country.

Supporting highlights being planned, include:
● Video Showcase: show series of #forestproud 5-minute videos on urban reclaimed and fresh cut wood;
● Maker Showcase: show examples of products, branding, and social media campaigns that work;
● Discussion and update of opportunities to connect urban wood with green market opportunities, including green building and certification;
● Explore the economics of urban wood: how to develop a business plan to launch a fresh-cut urban wood operation; and
● Engage in roundtable discussions on regional urban wood initiatives in California, the Upper Midwest, Baltimore, and other areas.

Katie Fernholz of Dovetail Partners and Sarah Hines of the USDA Forest Service are leading the effort. They are working with Pete Smith, urban forestry program manager of the Arbor Day Association.

Learn more about the conference at arborday.org.



Tables Made in Seattle Reside in NYC

We often assume that furniture made from urban wood tends to stay in or at least near the neighborhood where it was removed.

This is far from the case for a series of American Elm tables made by Urban Hardwoods of Seattle for a healthcare client’s office in New York City. The wood was salvaged from a large tree that fell during a storm in Northwest Oregon.

Founded in 2001, Urban Hardwoods’ Executive Collection includes conference tables, desks and credenzas.

Visit Urban Hardwoods’ website.



SkillsUSA & Urban Wood Unite in Wisconsin

Nearly three dozen students competing in the annual SkillsUSA woodworking competition in Wisconsin crafted end tables using reclaimed urban ash donated by Wisconsin Urban Wood.

Jasper Bushman of WITC Rice Lake and Nathan Voge of Union Grove High School won Gold medals in the postsecondary and high school divisions. They will represent Wisconsin in the SkillsUSA national cabinetmaking competition next month in Louisville, KY.

Other postsecondary medalists included two other WITC Rice Lake students: Mason Kollwitz, silver, and Ryan Erickson, bronze. Ethan Martin of Spooner High School and Evan Huck or Grafton High School took home silver and bronze in the high school division.

The end table was designed by Patrick Molzahn, director of the Cabinetmaking and Millwork program at Madison College and secretary of the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America. The Wisconsin Chapter of the Architectural Woodwork Institute, under the direction of Josh Bartlett of Franklin International, coordinated the event.




SUFC Names New Co-chairs

Mark Garvin, formerly with the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), and consultant Jennifer Hinrichs have been selected to serve co-chairs of the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition (SUFC). Both have long been involved with SUFC. 

Garvin recently retired from TCIA, where he worked for more than 22 years, including nine years as the association’s president and CEO.
TCIA’s membership includes more than 2,400 commercial tree care firms and affiliated companies.

For the past nine years, Garvin has represented TCIA in the SUFC, including participating on two committees and serving as a member of the Steering Committee.

Hinrichs has been involved with SUFC since the Coalition’s early days. She hired SUFC’s first convener over 13 years ago when it was affiliated with the National Tree Trust and later served as its convener and interim director for nine years, growing it from 20 to over 35 national members. For the last two years she has served in a voluntary capacity as an adviser to the Steering Committee.

Hinrichs has more than 25 years of non-profit management and consulting experience that includes NGO leadership, coalition capacity building, and communication expertise in both the private and public sectors.

The SUFC’s mission is to convene and mobilize a network of diverse national organizations to foster thriving communities through healthy urban and community forests.

Learn more at SUFC.org.



August Hoppe Joins TCIA Board

August Hoppe, owner of Hoppe Tree Service and the Urban Wood Lab in Milwaukee, WI, was elected to the Tree Care Industry Association Board of Directors.

Hoppe has a long history advancing the urban wood movement. He is a past president of the Wisconsin Arborist Association and is a member of Wisconsin Urban Wood.

In addition to Hoppe, Tad Jacobs, president of Treemasters of San Rafael, CA, was elected to the TCIA Board and current board member Noel Boyer, owner of All About Trees of Springfield, MO, was elected to a full three-year term.

The Tree Care Industry Association is a trade association of 2,300 tree care firms and affiliated companies and was established in 1938 as the National Arborist Association. TCIA develops safety and education programs, standards of tree care practice and management information for tree and landscape firms around the world. We provide continuing education, training, conferences and publications to promote the safe and appropriate practice of tree care.



Like Urban Wood Network on Facebook

The Urban Wood Network is now on Facebook. Become a fan and keep up to date with the latest developments of the urban wood movement, informative webinars and other news.

Like Urban Wood Network.



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



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.



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.