Petitioners Push for National Urban Wood Day

President Dwight Eisenhower is presented with a commemorative clock from representatives of the National Lumber Manufacturers Association in 1960 after signing the proclamation designating the third week of October, National Forest Products Week.

The Virginia Urban Wood Group is leading the charge to designate the Friday of National Forest Products Week “National Urban Wood Day.”

“I believe it is time for a National Urban Wood Day. The urban wood movement, pioneered by some of the early advocates like Sam Sherrill, Steve Bratkovich, Ed Cesa, Stubby & Maria Warmbold and others, has come of age, developing into a thriving, booming sector of the forest products industry,” said Joe Lehnen, forest utilization & marketing specialist of the Virginia Department of Forestry.

“I am proposing that we collectively petition the American Wood Council which promotes National Forest Products Week (third week of October), to designate the Friday of that week as National Urban Wood Day.  There is precedent for special designation days of that week since the NFPW recognizes Wednesday as National Biofuels Day.”

The petition reads as follows:

“There are more than 130 million acres of urban forests. Annually, more trees are removed from urban areas than from all of the National Forests in the United States.

“Urban wood products from these trees have become part of the fabric, style and culture in many office buildings, businesses and homes. The urban wood economy and consumers desire for locally sourced products has become a movement too large to ignore.

“The Urban Wood movement now employs thousands of people, has created new jobs, and growing local economies. It has also purposefully added value and dignity to the trees of our urban forests, honoring these urban trees beyond their biological lives.

“More than any other day of the week, Fridays are a day when people gather around products made from urban wood: the bar top at the local craft brewery, the furnishings at a locally owned restaurant, a family dining table made from a tree that once stood near grandma’s home. The warmth, beauty, and creativity of urban wood products draws people into community.

“Therefore, we the undersigned, propose that the Friday of National Forest Products Week be designated as National Urban Wood Day, a day to honor a rising star of the forest products industry.”

Individuals and groups interested in signing on to the petition can do so by contacting Lehnen at joe.lehnen@dof.virginia.gov.

President Dwight Eisenhower signed the first proclamation designating the third week of October as National Forest Products Week to recognize the value of forest products and commit to conservation practices that help responsibly manage U.S. forests. This week celebrates the role and impact of forests and wood as an integral component to our nation’s society. National Forest Products Week is scheduled for Oct. 20-26 this year.