Tag: Urban Forest

Bringing New Life to Fallen Urban Trees

Cities in the United States could plant an estimated 400 million trees, making them an essential player in tree restoration. Photo by Vladimir Kudinov/Unsplash

By Todd Gartner and Ben Christensen

The city is a difficult place for a tree to survive. Compared to their counterparts in the countryside, urban trees generally get less water, suffer more intense heat, compete for space with unyielding infrastructure and frequently become riddled with disease and pests. As a result, many cities are stuck with a lot of dead trees every year.

Cities and private contractors cut them down and usually turn them into firewood, mulch or haul them to the landfill. Often, cities replant fewer trees than they remove, leading to a net loss in canopy cover over time.

However, these trees don’t have to go to waste. “Reforestation hubs” are an exciting model that will save these trees from landfills and instead find new uses for them, such as repurposing for furniture or flooring. This can help cities deal with dead trees while saving money, creating new jobs, addressing long-term public health goals and mitigating climate change at scale.

The Urban Wood Opportunity
Restoring trees to the United States landscape offers big benefits for the climate and communities alike. The scale of the opportunity is staggering: landscapes across the United States alone could support 60 billion new trees. This would sequester up to 540 million tons of CO2 per year – equivalent to replacing 117 million gasoline cars with electric vehicles running on clean electricity. The United States could plant an estimated 400 million of these trees in cities. Capturing this opportunity will take financial resources and concerted effort by a variety of public and private partners.

While waiting for government funding or voluntary private sector finance to kick in at a meaningful scale, cities across the country hold a massive and untapped resource. However, this resource is going to waste – literally.

Every year, 36 million trees come down in cities across the United States due to old age, disease and new development, resulting in economic losses of up to $786 million each year. Much of this wood could become valuable products, but instead often gets chipped, thrown in a landfill or burned as firewood. Rethinking urban wood waste could be an unexpected climate and economic solution, turning a burden on the climate and city budgets into a financial engine for reforestation across the broader landscape.

This opportunity is the impetus for the concept of reforestation hubs, pioneered by Cambium CarbonCities4Forests and the Arbor Day Foundation, which will be working with city officials to create the nation’s first reforestation hubs by 2022 through a TNC Natural Climate Change Solutions Accelerator Grant.

What is a Reforestation Hub?
In their simplest form, reforestation hubs are public-private partnerships that save cities money and generate revenue to plant and maintain more trees by diverting downed urban trees from landfills. Instead of going to waste, downed trees are sorted and turned into their highest and best use like furniture, cross-laminated timber, lumber, flooring, compost or mulch. This saves cities money and generates revenue to plant and maintain more trees, building a vibrant circular economy and allowing cities to better combat climate change. In the process, reforestation hubs also support public health and economic growth by creating jobs in green infrastructure through employing people at mills, nurseries and new planting initiatives.

Despite the value urban wood can provide, critical obstacles stand in the way of utilizing them. Cities lack the infrastructure to make fallen trees valuable, and wood product supply chains are not structured around urban wood products. Addressing these two gaps is the first step in creating a functioning reforestation hub. Doing so will require investments in sort yards and mill infrastructure to process incoming wood waste, bringing together city officials, urban millers, artisans, furniture makers, biochar facilities and composting operations. Additionally, it will require building value chains that connect these urban wood ecosystems to the broader market.

Urban wood champions are chipping away at this vision, but with slow progress. Building a reforestation hub requires immense collaboration, and urban wood is a complex raw material to build consistent supply chains around. Reforestation hubs break this log jam by bringing together four ingredients:

  1. City-level commitments to divert wood from city agency and contractor operations, buy urban wood for city operations and establish long-term planting plans.
  2. Private finance from philanthropic and impact investors for necessary infrastructure.
  3. A market incubation platform that drives consumer awareness and leverages technology to connect buyers and sellers.
  4. A social impact mission that reinvests profits from the new urban wood economy into tree planting in reforestation hub cities and the surrounding landscapes.

This vision builds on the work of the Baltimore Wood Project, which creates furniture and other high-value products from dead urban trees and reclaimed lumber from houses facing demolition. Baltimore created a network of suppliers and buyers of reclaimed lumber and invested heavily in Camp Small, a sort yard that can process their existing waste stream and turn it into value.

Growing New Opportunities for City Trees
Reforestation hubs not only bring value through using dead trees, but by creating a path for planting new trees in cities. This comes with numerous public health benefits, including purifying air and water, helping to reduce respiratory disease and decreasing heat. Trees also increase storm water retention to ease stress on city sewer systems.

Tree canopy health often follows wealth and racial lines in cities, depriving underserved communities of these benefits. Reforestation hubs, by applying the principles of tree equity, can provide funds to improve tree health and plant more trees that benefit these communities. They can also provide new employment opportunities through the markets created for previously under-utilized urban wood.

Making the Most of Fallen Trees
With the financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, cities may face pressure to defer tree maintenance and replanting, despite the many benefits urban trees provide. At the same time, well-planned reforestation holds the potential to improve the respiratory health of residents and increased urban tree canopies can help cities meet their climate goals. Reforestation hubs offer a multitude of benefits, building new revenue to help fund tree care and planting as well as providing a path to financing broader tree work in cities. As a result, reforestation hubs have immense potential to become economic, public health and climate boons for cities in the face of intersecting crises.

Stay up to date on this exciting work and encourage your city to join the movement here.

This blog was originally published on WRI’s Insights.

Todd Gartner is the director of Cities4Forests and WRI’s Natural Infrastructure Initiative.

Ben Christensen is a former carbon removal research intern at World Resources Institute.

 



Chicago City Council Debates Urban Forestry Advisory Board To Address Declining Tree Population

Photo: Openlands

By Zachary Mauer 
Associate Editor
Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD/MPP 2022

Across the United States, metropolitan areas are experiencing a net loss of about 36 million trees every year. That amounts to about 175,000 acres of lost tree cover. Meanwhile, Chicago loses more than 10,000 trees every year due to, in part, inefficient tree trimming and management. Fewer trees means less shade and worse air quality. In response, several Chicago City Council Aldermen are proposing the Urban Forestry Advisory Board (“UFAB”) in order to assess current policies and propose innovative ways to protect Chicago’s tree population.           

Chicago has a tree-trimming problem
In 2019, the City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) 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. Since the creation of 311 in 1999, the city has used a reactive approach to tree trimming by responding only to resident’s complaints. As a result, the Bureau of Forestry spent 75% of its time addressing these 311 requests, causing 40% of parkway trees (approximately 206,000) to not be trimmed in 10 or more years.   

According to an independent report issued in 2009, a grid-based approach to tree trimming would reduce the average crew’s travel time by 35% and the average cost per tree trim by 60%. This could increase the daily tree trimming by 147% and 87% more addresses receiving services over the course of a year.

CBS News reported in January that that Chicago residents across the city have been complaining that 311 requests are being marked completed before the job was done. Some residents are forced to spend money to repair damage on their homes or cars caused by falling branches. Residents of West Englewood are worried that a falling branch could seriously injure someone.

City workers are avoiding completing these tree-trimming requests by marking the requests as “no tree” or “no such address.” The city’s response has been that the pandemic, as well as a large storm, have kept them busy over the past year. Still, other major cities that use a proactive, cyclical, or grid-based approach include New York City, Toronto, Los Angeles, as well as Chicago’s neighbors Evanston, Oak Lawn, and Park Ridge.

Environmental and health risks associated with loss of trees
One of the main consequences of losing trees in a large city is the urban heat island effect. Shade from trees, together with evaporation of the water their leaves transpire, can help reduce peak summer temperatures in their vicinity by 2 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit. In Davis, CA, researchers found that shade from trees reduced the surface temperature of asphalt by up to 36 degrees F, and of the passenger compartments of parked cars by 47 degrees F.

Also, urban trees reduce concentrations of particulate matter, the most damaging type of air pollution. A study of 10 U.S. cities found that urban trees remove enough particulate matter to reduce annual health impacts by amounts ranging from $1.1 million in Syracuse, NY, to $60.1 million in New York City. A 2015 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that in the 15-state area and 17-year period covered, more than 15,000 additional deaths from cardiovascular conditions such as heart attack and stroke occurred as a result of urban tree loss.       

Further, nitrogen dioxide is one of the main contributors to smog and one of the six leading air pollutants identified by the Environmental Protection Agency. In a study conducted in Portland, tree cover had a significant effect on nitrogen dioxide levels and residents’ respiratory health by area. In higher-tree areas, young kids were estimated to have avoided missing more than 7,000 school days annually because of asthma attacks.           

Chicago Urban Forestry Advisory Board
The proposed Urban Forestry Advisory Board (UFAB) would have seven ex officio members and six appointed members. The seven ex officio members would be the Chief Sustainability Officer, Chair of the Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, General Superintendent & Chief Executive Officer of Streets and Sanitation, Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, Commissioner of Water Management, and Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development. The six appointed members would be representatives from two nongovernmental organizations that participate in the Chicago Region Trees Initiative, a representative from a nongovernmental community organization, two representatives from a tree service business, and a representative from an academic arborist community. 

UFAB’s duties would include developing and annually updating an Urban Forestry Management Plan, as well as recommending legislation based on viewing and assessing current city policies, procedures, and expenditures. UFAB would also facilitate a public education of urban forestry and establish a Heritage Tree program that identifies trees of special significance. Other major cities with forest advisory boards include San Diego, which has a 15-member board appointed by the mayor, and Seattle where they have a 13-member board comprised of various professionals and community members.       

The ordinance to create UFAB was first introduced last summer, but was put on the back burner as the pandemic raged on. Now, the Chicago City Council hopes to introduce the ordinance again in the coming months.         

The City of Chicago’s Inspector General Joe Ferguson said it best: “A thriving and healthy urban forest is critical to mitigating ever-mounting climate change concerns like the urban heat island effect and excessive storm water runoff, and recent studies have revealed stark differences across city neighborhoods that generally correlate with tree canopy percentages. Chicago’s communities and individuals particularly stand to benefit from a more efficient and equitable city service, with obvious environmental health benefits, including cleaner air, cooling, and reduction of stress in children. Strategic, rather than reactive, tree care also prevents property damage, utility interruptions, and street closures.”



Chicago Plans to Inventory Urban Forest Canopy in 2020

Photo: Morton Arboretum

The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation plans to conduct a comprehensive inventory of the city’s urban forest canopy next year.

While the stated objective of the audit is to help create a more effective tree trimming schedule, information gathered should also be of great interest to arborists and tree care professionals, as well as businesses dedicated to urban wood utilization.

In a Sept. 27 letter to Inspector General Joseph Ferguson, John Tully, DOS commissioner, writes, “To continue to improve tree trimming operations, in the upcoming 2020 budget year, the Bureau of Forestry will work to develop a comprehensive tree inventory of the entire City canopy, which currently does not exist. This will provide valuable information regarding the number and location of trees as well as size and species. It will also provide information about electric wire interference within the canopy helping to inform the daily scheduling process for tree trimming and removals as well as the Department’s response to weather-related events.”

In an Oct. 30 press release, Ferguson called the tree canopy inventory a “step in the direction.” He added, however, “But (this) is only a starting point for an urgently needed generational re-assessment of the management of the City’s dwindling urban forest whose canopy is substantially smaller than many cities nationally. We strongly encourage DSS to re-evaluate the Monitor Group report the City invested in a decade ago, and work towards seriously implementing the recommendations for a grid-based approach to tree trimming. The benefits of more horticulturally precise and cost-effective tree trimming are substantial for the City and its potential for cost savings, optimized use of taxpayer-funded resources, and preventable liabilities. A thriving and healthy urban forest is critical to mitigating ever-mounting climate change concerns like the urban heat island effect and excessive storm water runoff, and recent studies have revealed stark differences across City neighborhoods that generally correlate with tree canopy percentages.”The Monitor Group report referenced by Ferguson found that DSS has largely used a reactive 311 caller request-based approach to identify trees for trimming. As a result of scheduling tree trimming on a case-by-case basis, city crews spend an inordinate amount of their time traveling to tree trimming sites, resulting in backlogs, allowing for many trees to go untrimmed for than a decade and some wards of the city receiving less tree trimming service than others.

According to the press release, OIG recommended that DSS employ suggestions found in Monitor Group’s report, which details the benefits of switching from the current reactive request system to a grid-based approach. This new approach (previously used by the City and commonplace for most municipal urban forestry programs) would make the Bureau of Forestry much more efficient, reducing the average crew’s travel time by 35% and the average cost per tree trim by 60%. It would also result in arborists determining how best to manage the urban forest rather than safety-driven resident calls, which constitutes an important added level of input to proper holistic management. In response, DSS stated that it will work to develop a comprehensive tree inventory of the entire City canopy within the next year, which will provide valuable information regarding the number and location of trees as well as size and species. However, DSS did not commit to switching to a grid-based approach, stating that it would require 15-20 additional crews to transition to this system, on a cycle of 7-10 years.



SUFC Slates Annual Meeting for March 7

The Sustainable Urban Forestry Coalition (SUFC)  will hold its annual meeting on March 7 at Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health, 700 2nd Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002.

The meeting will focus on the relationship between public health and resiliency through green infrastructure.

A networking reception will follow that same evening at the U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20001.

SUFC is dedicated to educating policy makers and the public about the need for healthy urban forests on a national and local level.

Learn more. 



Invitation to Join the Urban Wood Network

UWN-logoThe Urban Wood Network (UWN) appreciates your interest and would like to invite you to join us.

Free membership is being offered through May 31, 2018.

UWN partners have been dedicated to building urban wood businesses since the early 2000’s and united to promote and demonstrate urban wood utilization. Our mission is to inform, collaborate, and connect to build business and consumer confidence in the urban wood industry. Firstly, joining the urban wood movement means becoming a valuable link in the urban wood supply chain. And secondly, it means connecting with other efforts around the country. The more we position the industry as a cohesive group, the greater awareness we can bring to urban wood utilization and the better access we can provide to those who want to grow with it.

The Urban Wood Network is committed to work in partnership with the full diversity of industry stakeholders to build a common understanding, language, commitment, and eventually, brand for the urban wood marketplace.

If you currently belong to another organization whose primary goal is promoting urban wood utilization, we are interested in that organization partnering with us and becoming an UWN member. You would then be a part of UWN through that organization. If there isn’t such an organization in your state, then we welcome you as an UWN member and will assist you in building an organization in your state.

What does membership involve? To be an UWN member simply sign the attached agreement, if you agree with the tenets in the agreement. Because of the funding we have received from a USDA Forest Service grant, we are able to offer UWN membership at no cost through 6/30/18. UWN will continue to work on developing our network, organizational structure, dues structure, sponsorships, and member benefits with the plan to have UWN fully functional as a service organization by then.

Download UWN Membership Agreement

Agreements can be sent via email to info@urbanwoodnetwork.org or by postal mail to 1353 W. Hwy US 2, Suite 2, Crystal Falls, MI 49920.

Thank you for your interest; we look forward to receiving the signed agreement from you. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

UWN Partners
Rich Christianson, Illinois
Jessica Simons, Michigan
Russell Hinnah, Missouri
Don Peterson, Wisconsin



Southeast Urban Wood Exchange Connects Urban Forestry Professionals

Urban-Wood-Exchange-Logo 209214

UrbanWoodExchange.org fosters creation of local networks to utilize felled community trees for lumber and wood products whenever possible.

Raleigh, NC  — The Southeast Urban Wood Exchange continues to enroll a growing number of forest and wood product professionals who share the goal of putting urban tree removals to their highest possible use.

UrbanWoodExchange.org is a new clearinghouse for businesses ranging from professional tree care and removal services through sawyers, kiln dryers and lumber suppliers to connect and grow local urban wood networks. The Exchange features a searchable database that makes it easier for businesses to find potential urban wood partners in their area.

North Carolina has served as the pilot project of the new website created to encompass the 13 states located within the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region 8. Already dozens of businesses throughout North Carolina have posted business and product listings on the Exchange.

Underwritten through a grant from the U.S. Forest Service, qualified businesses can quickly list their products and services for free by logging onto UrbanWoodExchange.org. Product listings include Cut Logs, Milled Lumber and Firewood/Chips. Service listings include Arborists, Sawyers, Kiln Operators and Lumber Sellers.

An underlying mission of the Southeast Urban Wood Exchange is helping to facilitate the highest and best possible use of community trees at the end of their service. These trees are felled due to old age, insect infestation, storm damage, utility excavation and other circumstances. They are never meant to be removed solely for their wood value.

“Not every tree that is removed in the urban forest can yield lumber,” said Nancy Stairs, Ur”ban Forestry Program Coordinator of the North Carolina Forest Service (NCFS). “Yet, too many trees that could be milled are ending up in a landfill. The Southeast Urban Wood Exchange aims to help divert as many logs as possible and feasible from the waste stream by promoting the opportunity to convert them into value-added products. In some cases that means lumber or slabs, in others the best possible use is firewood or mulch. In any regard, better utilizing this resource is not only good for the environment, but for growing local economies.

“We hope and strongly encourage all businesses with a stake in the Southeast’s urban forests to get listed on the Exchange,” said added. “Working together we can build markets that offer woodworkers a unique source of wood supply and make it easier for environmentally-conscious private and public landowners to find professionals who can give trees that must come down a new life as furniture and other wood products.”

To learn more about Southeast Urban Wood Exchange and posting free business and product listings, visit UrbanWoodExchange.org.

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About the Urban Wood Exchange
The Southeast Urban Wood Exchange is a free online directory of urban wood products and services administered by the North Carolina Forest Service.s Urban & Community Forestry Program and funded through the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region 8. Region 8 encompasses the following 13 states:  Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. For more information visit UrbanWoodExchange.org



Mid-Atlantic Urban Wood Forum Set for Aug. 15 & 16

Mid-Atlantic-Urban-Wood-Forum-2017The Virginia Department of Forestry in partnership with the Virginia Urban Wood Group, Trees Virginia, and U.S. Forest Service, is proud to sponsor the Mid-Atlantic Urban Wood Forum:  “Applied Practices in Utilization,” Aug. 15-16 in Richmond, VA. Thetwo-day event will take place at the Richmond Marriott Short Pump.

It will feature a host of urban wood experts from across the United States  providing techniques and examples of successful urban wood utilization programs and projects from government, associations and entrepreneurs.  Among the speakers is Jessica Simons, lead of Michigan’s Urban Wood Marketplace. Michigan is a partner in the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle project will Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin collectively known as the Urban Wood Network

The target audience for this forum includes arborists, tree care companies, forestry professionals, service providers, wood crafters, municipality staff, academia and portable sawmill owners.

Registration is $140 and includes breakfast and lunch both days and an Aug. 16 field trip.

Click here to view the agenda.

Click here to learn more and register.

 



The Urban Wood Network Launches New Website

Urban-Wood-Network-Home-PageCrystal Falls, MI — The Urban Wood Network, a multi-state collaborative project that is promoting full-circle urban forest management, announces the launch of its new website: urbanwoodnetwork.org. The website serves as an industry resource for those interested in: adding urban wood to their existing business model; starting a new company dedicated to urban wood; joining a statewide network for urban wood providers; or starting a new network in their state.

The Urban Wood Network is made up of urban forestry efforts in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin, working collaboratively to capture the full worth of community trees from seed to sawdust. This often means expanding the public benefits of urban trees, from shade to finished wood products.

Urban wood, which is wood processed from felled urban and community trees, can be used for a wide range of products. Any piece of wood that can produce lumber can be used for a broad range of general and specialty use products from flooring to one piece table tops. Lesser quality wood can be used for playground/trail chips, mulch, firewood, or pulpwood. The Urban Wood Network always promotes the highest use that is economically achievable.

“We’ve learned from experience that the only way to have an ultimate impact, to truly establish full circle urban forestry management, is to work cooperatively from arborist to value-added manufacturer,” said Don Peterson, on behalf of the Urban Wood Network. “A cohesive supply chain is the only way to get the highest product from these trees. Now, we want to use our collective experiences to assist other businesses and other states to join this developing industry.”

Keys to Success
Urban wood success stories are a main feature of urbanwoodnetwork.org. The success stories highlight municipalities, arborists, sawmills, suppliers, manufacturers and makers, and design professionals that have put urban trees to better use, and demonstrate the social and economic benefits of doing so.

An interview with Recycle Ann Arbor’s Kirk Lignell tells how the urban wood supplier located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, grew dramatically after the Emerald Ash Borer destroyed local ash trees. Now Recycle Ann Arbor’s urban wood supply chain includes six different sawmills. Customers range from artisans to furniture makers.

The City of Eau Claire success story tells how this municipality partners with local sawmills through a Use Agreement, allowing them access the city’s marshalling yard to recover and utilize removed trees.

Full Circle Grant
In 2014, the four states of the Urban Wood Network received funding support for their project “Bringing Urban Forestry Full Circle: Localized Approaches for Capturing Value and Enhancing Public Benefits of Urban Forests.” Funding is from the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program.

The project aims to build regional and national awareness of the urban wood market, strengthen the urban wood supply chain, and build a common platform for the urban wood marketplace.

“It is interesting how many partners have been involved over the years, so many people at different levels trying to work together to create a strong market for urban wood products,” said Jessica Simons, on behalf of the Sustainable Resources Alliance in Michigan. “It says a lot about this kind of movement when different agencies, organizations, and businesses are excited to work together to make it happen.”

About the Urban Wood Network
The Urban Wood Network seeks to inform, collaborate, and connect to build community, business and consumer confidence in the urban wood industry. It is made up of individual and organizational efforts in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin that have been dedicated to building urban wood awareness since the early 2000s. They are united today to promote and demonstrate urban wood utilization. Learn more at www.urbanwoodnetwork.org



Duluth’s EAB Plan Promotes Wood Use; Does Your City Do the Same?

City-of-Duluth

BY RICH CHRISTIANSON

It only represents one paragraph of a 14-page document, yet it’s encouraging to see that the City of Duluth, MN, incorporated urban wood utilization in its Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan originated in July 2015 and finalized in November 2016.

That one small yet significant paragraph reads: “After all bark including ½ inch of sapwood is removed from ash, the wood can be used for lumber. This lumber could be used for park projects including mulching, constructing benches, playground equipment, etc. If ash mulch is to be used, the chips must be chipped at no greater than 1” X 1” in two dimensions.”

Duluth officials started crafting the EAB management knowing that it was just a matter of time before the deadly beetle would invade the area. The first confirmation that the EAB had arrived was in St. Louis County in October 2015.

The ultimate death toll of ash trees in Minnesota is expected to be huge. As the introduction of the management plant notes, “According to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota has the highest volume of ash trees in the U.S. with almost a billion forestland and urban ash trees. Duluth has about 2,404 boulevard ash trees alone, not including park or privately owned ash.”

Key topics of Duluth’s EAB management plan include:

  • Monitoring and Inspection
  • Insecticide Use
  • Community Outreach
  • Ash Tree Removal
  • Ash Wood Disposal
  • Reforestation and Canopy Replacement
  • Biological Control

I am constantly amazed that many of the municipal urban forestry plans I skim through focus on tree planting, maintenance and disposal without even a mention of wood utilization. I’d be very interested to learn of other cities that like Duluth that have enacted community tree management plans that actively promote a second life for its ash trees as mulch and lumber.

Drop me a line at richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com.

Read Duluth’s EAB Management Plan.

 

 

 



City Forest Products Slates April 28 Launch Party

City-Forest-Products-Accent-TableCity Forest Products LLC (CFP), described by its principal as “a new social enterprise that creates value from urban woods,” will host a launch party 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Friday, April 28 at Standing Passengers, 1458 W. Chicago Ave, Chicago.

According to CFP founder Curtis Witek, “Our mission is to revitalize communities through the manufacturing and sale of sustainable products crafted from salvaged urban woods.”

CFP is based in Chicago’s West Town area. Witek is actively seeking local partners engaged in restoration and community development work, including woodworkers and marketers.

In its early stage of development, CFP’s products include accent tables, cutting boards and cheese boards all crafted from wood salvaged from local trees. These products will be sold through CFP’s website and at “various festival events around Chicago.”

CFP pledges to “dedicate 5% of our sales proceeds into a ‘Restoration Fund,’ which we reinvest in on-the-ground ecological restoration and community development projects.”

The launch party is meant to introduce CFP to other urban wood stakeholders. Admission to the celebration is free. Click here to RSVP.

For additional information about CFP, visit CityForestProducts.com or contact Witek at cityforestproducts@gmail.com.