This is the 81st and final edition of the Urban Wood Update, at least under my watch … for now.
Up until a few weeks ago, I assumed I would be producing an 82nd issue and beyond. Afterall, creating the content and deploying the Update has been ingrained in my monthly routine since I sent out the first edition in July 2015.
I was a paid consultant for the Illinois Wood Utilization Team (WUT) when I launched the newsletter. Illinois, along with Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin shared grant monies from the U.S. Forest Service to create marketing strategies for promoting value-added uses of urban wood. The ultimate goal was to grow demand for this vastly under-utilized resource.
The four-state grant led to the creation of the Urban Wood Network (UWN). The UWN is now in the process of organizing state chapters, Illinois being among the newest.
Since January 2019 I have volunteered my time and “dime” to maintain the illinoisurbanwood.org website and create content for the Update. But last month the proverbial dam burst for my business, Richson Media. Not one, not two, but all three proposals I had in the offering were accepted. I immediately realized that I had to make serious adjustments on how I allocate my limited time. One of the most difficult adjustments to my schedule is taking a break from the illinoisurbanwood website and the newsletter. I have also resigned from the steering committee of the new Urban Wood Network-Illinois Chapter.
While I am taking myself out of the game — at least for now — I will continue to root for the continued success and advancement of the urban wood movement from the sidelines. And rest assured, I will remain a staunch advocate in my future discussions with my family, friends and woodworking industry colleagues.
If you are an urban wood stakeholder based in Illinois, I encourage you to contact Erika Horigan. She is heading up the steering committee which is in the process of holding informational meetings to drum up membership and develop programs that will benefit its members. Erika can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, you can learn more at UrbanWoodNetwork.org.
Good luck to all!
Editor & Publisher
Urban Wood Update