Urban Wood Network Secures Forest Service Grant

The Urban Wood Network (UWN) was awarded a grant from the USDA Forest Service to further its mission to advance the urban wood movement throughout the United States.

UWN’s proposal, The Urban Wood Network – Driving Urban Wood Utilization from Coast to Coast, was one of six to be awarded from a pool of $900,000 in the 2020 Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost Share Grant Program. These funds will be matched with an additional $995,144 based on the individual grant recipient’s proposals bringing total funding to nearly $1.9 million. 

According to UWN, “The three-year project will expand the U.S. urban forest economy by bringing industry stakeholders together to inform, collaborate, and connect to build community, business and consumer confidence in the urban wood industry, which will provide revenues and cost-savings to municipal urban forestry programs.”

The UWN’s membership includes sawyers, woodworkers, municipalities, arborists and other stakeholders stretching from coast to coast and in Canada. UWN said its members “are committed to the ideals that urban trees benefit their communities most when they are growing strong and that when they are removed due to death, disease, pests, or circumstance, their wood should be utilized to its highest use to maximize economic, environment and societal benefits.”

As a national trade organization, UWN works with its members and partners to:

  • Develop and improve markets for urban wood;
  • Assist in reducing cost burdens for municipalities;
  • Increase opportunities for wood recycling;
  • Help develop programs that will stimulate economies, create jobs, and educate on sustainability and carbon sequestration.

The Forest Service’s community forestry grants support the health and vitality of urban forests. Well managed forests are better prepared to withstand the threats of invasive pests, and protect lives, infrastructure, homes, habitats, water quality, economies, and social health and well-being.

In addition to UWN, other grant winners include:

  • Wildlife Habitat Council — Crossing the Fence-Line: Connecting Corporate America to America’s Communities through Public-private Forestry Programs;
  • University of Maryland — Translating Urban and Community Forestry Human Health Evidence to Integrated Urban Planning and Policy;
  • North Carolina State University — Engaging Diverse Communities in Urban Greening Efforts: Lessons Learned and Pathways to Success;
  •  University of Tennessee — Extending the Reach of Rapid Diagnostics with Detection Tools for Oak Wilt and Laurel Wilt Diseases in Urban Forests; and
  • The Giving Grove Inc. — Little Orchards, Big Impact: Growing a Collaborative National Urban Orchard Network to Improve Environmental Resiliency, Build Capacity and Increase Food, Security in High Potential Communities.

Learn more about the USDA’s 2020 Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost Share Grant Program.

For more information about the  Urban Wood Network, visit urbanwoodnetwork.org.