Tag: Chicago Park District

Most Popular Posts of 2021

A milling project undertaken by the Chicago Park District last winter was the second most viewed post of 2021.

As we prepare for what I hope will be a healthy, prosperous and fingers-crossed, post-pandemic 2022, we take a look at the stories posted on IllinoisUrbanWood that garnered the most eyeballs in 2021.

Thanks to all for you interest in furthering the Urban Wood Movement here in Illinois and beyond. 

Happy New Year!

Rich Christianson
Editor & Publisher

1

Chicago City Council Debates Urban Forestry Advisory Board to Address Declining Tree Population
I
n 2019, the City of Chicago Office of Inspector General released a report highlighting ways in which the Department of Streets and Sanitation’s Bureau of Forestry could improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their tree-trimming program.

2

Slideshow: Chicago Park District’s Wintry Milling Project
The Chicago Park District’s Department of Cultural and Natural Resources team recently initiated lumber milling at the West Ridge Natural Area.

 

3

House Bill Includes ‘Cooperative Agreements’ for Urban Wood Utilization
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) has introduced the Urban Forest Act of 2021, which includes provisions for incentivizing urban wood utilization.

4

Invitation to Learn About the New IL Chapter of Urban Wood Network
Erika Horigan announces the first meeting of the Urban Wood Network-Illinois Chapter.

5

Urban Wood Italian Style
Franco Paolinelli of Silvicultura Agrocultura Paesaggio, reports on urban wood projects in Rome, Italy. 

6

Watch Black Oak Go from Logs to Table
Video shows the key stages of three huge logs from a felled black oak being repurposed into tables.

7

Video: Restoration Research of the American Chestnut Part 1
Part 1 of this two-part video program focuses on the historical significance of the American chestnut, its dominance in eastern U.S. forests and its quick and fatal decline to chestnut blight disease.

8

How Harrisonburg, VA, Upscales Dead Ash Trees
Harrisonburg, VA, home to 54,000 people and the annual Gr8 Film Festival, is also serious about repurposing its ash trees victimized by the emerald ash borer.

9

American Hardwoods Focus of New Free Guide
A Guide to Sustainable American Hardwoods was recently issued by the American Hardwood Export Council.

10

UK Researchers Search for EAB-Resistant Trees
Researchers at the University of Kentucky hope to use the seed and genetic material from lingering ash trees for breeding programs and research purposes to develop ash trees that confer some resistance to the emerald ash borer.



Slideshow: Chicago Park District’s Wintery Milling Project

 
The Chicago Park District’s (CPD) Department of Cultural and Natural Resources team recently initiated lumber milling at West Ridge Natural Area, 5800 N. Western Ave.
 
Gerry Hamm, owner of GH Hamm Woodworking & Sawmill, of Mundelein, IL, was contacted by Mike Dimitroff, manager of Art Initiatives, and Matt Freer, director of Natural Resources Natural Areas, to mill CPD trees infested with the emerald ash borer and downed logs at West Ridge. 
 
Dimitroff was joined by project manager Isaiah Ballinger and team members Alex Loepke, Krzysztof Makowski and Tyrone Murdo, to assist in the project.
 
The milling operation involved loading park district logs, which were cut and transported by CPD Forestry, under the direction of Mike Brown, to the West Ridge site. There, the logs were loaded onto the Hamm’s mill and sawed into full-length 3-inch-thick, live-edge slabs.
 
The slabs will be open-air cured, then cut to length and used as bench stock material. The new benches will be incorporated into CPD natural areas, like Big Marsh and Hegwish as well as other parks and natural areas’ settings.
 
According to Dimitroff, “This initiative demonstrates one aspect of a great, multi-team effort in continuing our DCNR sustainability mindset.”
 


Chicago Tree Project Continues to Transform Dead Trees into Sculptures

As much as we like to see urban trees reclaimed as lumber and furniture, sometimes the best use of a dying or dead tree is a second life as art.

Chicago Sculpture International (CSI) and the Chicago Park District (CPD), teamed up for “Chicago Tree Project 2017,” the fourth annual citywide effort to transform sick and dying trees into vibrant public art. Using art as a vessel for public engagement, sculptors transformed a variety of trees into fun and whimsical experiences for the greater Chicago community. The collaborative project between CSI artists and CPD and is part of the greater initiative to expand the reach of public art in Chicago.

“The Chicago Park District strives to integrate art and nature in many ways to enhance the experience of public spaces,” said General Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Park District Michael P. Kelly. “This project builds on the city’s reputation for great public art, and brings the work of local sculptors to a wide array of neighborhoods throughout the city.”

Over the course of the summer and fall, artists adopted trees throughout Chicago and modified them through sculpture using traditional carving methods, as well as mixed media and other embellishments. The transformed trees are in geographically diverse areas to give as many residents as possible access to the pieces.

The decorated and carved trees will remain in the parks as long as the trees remain secure.

2017 Tree Artists included: JR Cadawas, Janet Austin, Sandra Bacon & John Hatlestad, Carrie Fischer, Nick Goettling, Tracy Ostmann Haschke, Anthony Heinz May, Cat Chiu Phillips, and Actual Size Artworks (Gail Simpson & Artistotle Georgiades).

Learn more about the Chicago Tree Project and view more sculptures.