Tag: Urban Wood Network

Update on the Urban Wood Network-IL Chapter

We held our first in-person meeting of the new UWN-IL chapter on March 9 at the showroom of Icon Modern in Chicago. Twenty people attended including 10 via Zoom.

Thank you Rocky Levy, owner of Icon Modern and long-time urban wood advocate, for hosting us.

The meeting featured presentations by three current UWN-IL members on why they joined the chapter including Max Brown, village forester of Glen Ellyn; Rocky Levy of Icon Modern; and Erika Horigan of Horigan Urban Forest Products. We also had great discussions on what is needed next for UWN-IL including connecting with the Illinois DNR, municipal park districts, lumber suppliers and other end users. There was also interest in seeking grant funding for UWN-IL to help propel urban wood into the marketplace and to highlight the benefits of using urban lumber.

Full minutes of the March 9 meeting will be available at our next hybrid chapter meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. May 19.

The in-person meeting will be held at Horigan Urban Forest Products, 2302 Meadow Lane, North Chicago IL 60064. For those unable to attend in-person, the meeting will also be held on Zoom.

As of now, chapter meetings are scheduled to take place on the third Thursday of odd-numbered months.

To get on our mailing list to receive UWN-IL news and event updates, including a Zoom link for the May 19 meeting, email Erika Horigan at illinois@urbanwoodnetwork.org.

All urban wood stakeholders including tree care specialists, sawyers, woodworkers, architects, municipal managers, urban foresters and others are encouraged to attend our chapter meetings. Membership benefits include branding opportunities, sharing best practices with other members, and participating in educational webinars and workshops.

FYI: The Urban Wood Network will soon launch a revamped website. It will include an area devoted to UWN-IL. Stay tuned.



Goodbye … for Now

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 illinois@urbanwoodnetwork.org.

In addition, you can learn more at UrbanWoodNetwork.org.

Good luck to all!

Rich Christianson
Editor & Publisher
Urban Wood Update



Icon Modern to Host UWN-IL Chapter Info Meeting on March 9

What are the goals of the new Illinois Chapter of Urban Wood Network (UWN-IL)?

Who is eligible to join?

What are the benefits of membership?

Find out the answers to these and other questions, plus get yours answered by attending the first live meeting of UWN-IL scheduled for 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 9, at the showroom of Icon Modern in Chicago. The meeting will also be available via Zoom for those unable to attend the in-person meeting.

The meeting will be highlighted by a panel of three urban wood stakeholders, who will share their reasons for joining UWN-IL. In addition, Kari Devine, executive director of the Urban Wood Network, will particpate via Zoom to provide updated information about UWN including plans for a new website that will spotlight individual state chapters and their members, as well as other membership benefits.

Icon Modern CHciago Showroom

Icon Modern will host the March 9 UWN-IL meeting at its showroom located at 346 N. Justine St., Chicago.

UWN-IL was launched last month to work with the Urban Wood Network and other state chapters on promoting the social, environmental and economic value of urban wood and to maximize the value of trees removed due to pests, disease or other circumstances.

The March 9 meeting is being organized by the UWN-IL steering committee. Its members include:

  • Max Brown, Village Forester of Glen Ellyn;
  • Rich Christianson, Editor & Publisher, Urban Wood Update;
  • Cherie Fisher, Social Scientist, USDA Forest Service;
  • Erika Horigan, co-owner of Horigan Urban Forest Products, chairperson;
  • Rocky Levy, co-owner Icon Modern;
  • Jeff Perkis, Project Architect at Dewberry;
  • Jeff Prokash, Instructor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and
  • Steve Skorup, Owner, SAWINC.

All urban wood stakeholders including tree care specialists, sawyers, woodworkers, architects, municipal managers, urban foresters and others are encouraged to attend the meeting. Membership benefits include branding opportunities, sharing best practices with other members, and participating in educational webinars and workshops.

Learn more about the benefits of joining the Urban Wood Network and sign up to become a member at https://urbanwoodnetwork.org/join-the-movement.

March 9 Meeting Options
The in-person meeting will be held at Icon Modern, 346 N. Justine St., Chicago; phone 312-469-0788.

Use this link to join the meeting via Zoom:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81620102076?pwd=cGlmN1lZekxkRXlsclpRaUFCdGxtZz09
Meeting ID: 816 2010 2076
Passcode: 354084

For additional information, contact Erika Horigan, UWN-IL Steering Committee chairperson, illinois@urbanwoodnetwork.org.

We look forward to your participation and hope you will join the UWN-IL urban wood movement!



Why I Joined UWN-IL, By Max Brown, Glen Ellyn Village Forester

By Maxwell Brown
Village of Glen Ellyn
Village Forester

Working in Glen Ellyn’s Public Works Department and managing our village’s urban forest inevitably results in removing large trees for a variety of reasons. 

Currently, the disposal of logs from our municipal tree removals is performed by a paid contractor. The contractor usually hauls away the logs to process into woodchips for mulch or firewood. Over time, I began to think, there has to be a better way as I came to realize that this wood should be viewed as an asset rather than as waste. There has to be a better, more environmenally responsible use of these logs that would benefit our community and make sense financially.

It turns out I wasn’t the only one with those thoughts. I learned about the Urban Wood Network and how it is comprised of a group of like-minded representatives of municipalities, tree care businesses, sawmills, suppliers, manufacturers, and design professionals working to promote urban wood utilization and assist the development of local networks to get urban wood into the hands of people who will utilize it in more value-added ways other than just firewood or mulch.

I found that joining the Illinois Chapter of the Urban Wood Network is a great way to become involved at the ground level and help develop a program in Illinois that falls in line with the national organization’s mission to repurpose felled urban trees to their highest possible value. Doing so could potentially benefit hundreds and hundreds of people here in Illinois. 

Without a doubt, our urban forest is most beneficial when trees are alive and thriving. When a tree does need to be removed, though, I would love to provide these logs to someone who recognizes its value as urban wood so that can be repurposed as furniture, flooring and other wood products. 

The UWN-IL Chapter is working to make this happen. I encourage all Illinois urban wood stakeholders to learn more about the benefits of joining the Urban Wood Network and joining our cause. 



IL Chapter of Urban Wood Network Officially Launches

It’s official. Urban Wood Network – Illinois Chapter (UWN-IL) has formally been established as has a steering committee to set goals, beginning with recruiting new members.

Erika Horigan, member of UWN-IL, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding completing the application process joining Wisconsin, Michigan and other states that have become state-chartered members of UWN. 

UWN-IL will work with the Urban Wood Network on primary goals, including promoting the social, environmental and economic value of urban wood and to maximize the value of trees removed due to pests, disease or other circumstances

Members of the UWN-IL steering committee include:

  • Max Brown, Village Forester of Glen Ellyn;
  • Rich Christianson, Editor & Publisher, Urban Wood Update;
  • Cherie Fisher, Social Scientist, USDA Forest Service;
  • Erika Horigan, co-owner of Horigan Urban Forest Products, chairperson;
  • Rocky Levy, co-owner Icon Modern;
  • Jeff Perkis, Project Architect at Dewberry;
  • Jeff Prokash, Instructor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and
  • Steve Skorup, Owner, SAWINC.

Plans are in the works for a new membership information meeting to be held March 9 at Icon Modern’s facility in Chicago and via Zoom. Further details, including registration, will be announced soon.

All urban wood stakeholders are welcome to join UWN-IL including tree care specialists, sawyers, woodworkers, architects, municipal managers, urban foresters and more. Membership benefits include branding opportunities, sharing best practices with other members, and participating in educational webinars and workshops.

Learn more about the benefits of joining the Urban Wood Network and sign up to become a member at https://urbanwoodnetwork.org/join-the-movement.

For additional information about becoming a member of UWN-IL, contact Erika Horigan.



Don Peterson, Founding Executive Director of Urban Wood Network, Passes Away

Donald “Buck” Peterson, a career forester, consultant and urban wood advocate, died of natural causes while working at his Crystal Falls, MI, office on Jan. 3. He was 65.

Peterson was instrumental in establishing the Urban Wood Network in 2017 and served as its executive director until late 2021.

Peterson graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1979 with a degree in Forest Management. He worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for 12 years serving various roles including forest ranger and forest products marketing specialist. In 1997, he moved to the private sector and became executive director of the Forest Industry Safety and Training Alliance.

In 2001, Peterson founded Renewable Resource Solutions based in Crystal Falls, MI. RSS provided consulting services to help clients achieve their natural resource goals spanning a diverse range of topics including biomass projects, feasibility studies, urban logging projects, and timber sales. 

Read Peterson’s obituary.



Invitation to Learn About the New Illinois Chapter of Urban Wood Network

I invite you to attend this meeting to join the discussion of what comes next for Illinois and urban wood. I will share why Illinois became a Chapter of UWN. In addition, I will be joined by Kari Devine of the Urban Wood Network. She will provide information about UWN membership benefits including branding, marketing, and educational resources.

The meeting will take place from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday, September 20.

Please register in advance to attend.

Hello Illinois Urban Wood supporters:

Please join us in an upcoming Zoom meeting to learn about the new Illinois Chapter of the Urban Wood Network (UWN).

Illinois has a long history of utilizing the resource of urban wood and we recently became a member of this larger UWN national movement.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Best regards,

Erika Horigan
Horigan Urban Forest Products, Inc.
Urban Wood Network, Illinois




Urban Wood Network Announces First State Chapters

Michigan, Texas and Wisconsin are the first three states to establish state chapters with the Urban Wood Network through the UWN’s Driving Urban Wood Utilization from Coast to Coast Cost Share program.

The UWN is also in the process of building chapters and local urban wood programs in California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina and Oregon. Further expansion of chapters and individual memberships is also in the works.​

Since its inception, the UWN has connected members with potential partners, customers and experts to help them grow their urban wood businesses. UWN has also educated and informed thousands of urban wood enthusiasts through its webinars featuring urban wood experts from across the country.

Through its latest initiatives, UWN plans to continue collecting and sharing best practices from throughout the urban wood supply chain to help businesses, municipalities, advocates, government agencies and other stakeholders build their local urban wood industries.

Click here to learn more about becoming a UWN member.

Contact Kari Devine of the UWN about how to start or get involved with a UWN chapter.



Urban Tree Merchants Is Keeping Score

Urban Tree Merchants (UTM) of Arlington, TX, maintains a scoreboard of sorts on its website.

The statistics above – captured on Dec. 28 – reflect the current running tally of urban trees that the custom woodworking company has repurposed into slabs and lumber since it was established on Dec. 1, 2016 by Caleb and Kelly Geer.

Pecan accent wall

The Geers bill their business as a “tree to table” enterprise. The company specializes in the design and manufacture of custom wood furniture and decorative items including tables, shelves, mantels, benches, cutting boards, cake stands and lazy Susans.

UTM works with local tree care companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth corridor to repurpose removed trees. The company mills and dries its own lumber.

Caleb Geer’s was inspired to found UTM while working for Tree Shepherds, his father’s tree care company. Kelly Geer’s diverse background includes catering, coordinating programs for the City of Arlington, social media marketing and serving as operations manager for Tree Shepherds.

UTM is a member of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and the Urban Wood Network.

Learn more at UrbanTreeMerchants.com.

River and waterfall countertop

 

 



National Urban Wood Academy 2020 Set for Nov. 20

The Urban Wood Network is partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation, the Urban Wood Academy, and Dovetail Partners to host the first ever national Urban Wood Network event  in conjunction with the Partners in Community Forestry Virtual Experience.

The webinar is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST, Nov. 20, 2020.

This 3-hour event will feature experts from each link in the urban wood supply chain who will share stories from across the county of how municipalities and businesses have overcome barriers to build successful urban wood programs and industries in local markets.

Municipal managers, arborists, sawyers, woodworkers, retailers, advocates and agencies are invited to participate in this virtual event and to join together under a united voice to advance the urban wood movement.

SPEAKERS:
Jennifer Alger – President, Far West Forest Products
Ben Christensen – CEO/Founder, Cambium Carbon
Chris Crocker – Owner, The Good Wood Guys
Devin Ginther – Owner, Texas Urban Sawmill
Morgan Grove – Social Scientist, Team Leader, USDA Forest Service’s Baltimore Urban Field Station
Lorri Gruebe – Community Operations Forester, City of Lincoln, NE
August Hoppe – President, Hoppe Tree Service
John Kemppainen – City Forester, Stoughton, WI
Joe Lehnen – Forest Utilization & Marketing Specialist, Commonwealth of Virginia
Lauren Marshall – National Program Manager, USDA Forest Service Urban & Community Forestry
Don Peterson – Executive Director, Urban Wood Network
Marisa Repka – City Partnerships Lead, Cambium Carbon
Carmen Rodriguez – Co-owner, Chief Marketing Officer, Eutree
Dwayne Sperber – Owner, Wudeward Urban Forest Products

Learn more.