Urban Wood Utilization Fits Community’s Utopian Vision

Sustainable Atwood, Urban Forest

Sustainable Atwood’s 2011 i-tree inventory counted 8,078 community trees comprised of more than 100 species.

Urban wood use is part of Sustainable Atwood’s utopian vision for a sustainable greater Madison, WI, community that can be modeled by others throughout the nation and beyond.

“Our mission is to make ‘sustainable’ the norm by helping neighborhoods thrive as models of social, economic, and ecological well-being,” state’s the group’s website: sustainableatwood.org.

Sustainable Atwood encompasses the Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara neighborhood that 6,000 residents call home. The organization’s projects include solar, metro and urban forest programs and projects. The website also includes a 2011 report on the community’s combined public and private tree inventory, which numbered 8,078. Maples made up 28% of the tree canopy followed by ash, 11%; and northern hackberry and honey locust at 5% each..

Sustainable Atwood project goals include:

  • Developing a resilient urban forest supported by a robust urban forest economy;
  • Creating a carbon neutral neighborhood;
  • “Growing all of our own food –including our pantries – on our public and private land;”
  • Promoting walking and biking over travel by car; and
  • Maximizing organic matter composting to become a “zero garbage community.”