Wisconsin Urban Wood (WUW) and the City of Marshfield have joined efforts in a “Use Agreement” that serves as the conduit between the city’s logs and WUW’s sawmill and woodworker partners in the area.
Most people view trees as valuable, whether standing in a wooded grove or as a commodity on a logging truck. Strangely, we don’t value our urban trees in quite the same way. Cities, neighborhoods and homeowners lovingly plant and nurture trees to add beauty and value to urban landscapes and there are nearly four billion trees in America’s urban landscapes. Historically when these trees need to be removed due to death, disease, or development, their stories end; they’ve been just another thing to discard.
Every year thousands of trees are removed from Wisconsin’s streets, backyards, parks and other green spaces due to storms, construction, disease or insects such as the Emerald Ash Borer. This process costs municipality’s money and time while bringing little value back to the community. Much of this removed urban wood is suitable for lumber, flooring, furniture, art, architectural design and household goods. By establishing this urban wood use agreement, Marshfield can utilize this local, sustainable and renewable resource to boost the local economy and reduce community expenses.
Wisconsin Urban Wood (WUW) is an organization committed to the social, economic and ecological benefits of urban trees. WUW’s motto is Trees First, Wood Next. WUW members like the City of Marshfield share the understanding that trees are most beneficial to communities when those trees are growing healthy and strong, but when urban trees must be removed, WUW’s goal is to find the highest use for the removed wood. Through the WUW partnership of municipalities, arborists, sawyers, kiln operators, makers, artisans, retailers, architects, organizations and advocates, those trees are connected with local processors and woodworkers so the trees can be used for their highest and best uses in lumber, flooring, furniture, art, architecture, and a variety of goods made from wood.
Repurposing urban trees after they are removed changes the way industry sees its supply chain. People who manage urban forests and those that use wood in their projects are finding opportunities to connect and partner toward building new markets for urban wood products, while building stronger relationships between clients, consumers and communities in the process. Wisconsin Urban Wood is working to build common understanding, language, commitment, and consumer confidence in an urban wood brand shared by our membership. We are poised to help individuals and businesses looking to expand their operation or start a new business dedicated to urban wood.
Through the use agreement, WUW members are granted access to the city’s marshalling yard to recover and remove city logs. The Use Agreement reduces disposal costs and the wood finds its way back into the community in beautiful ways.
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact:
- Kari Divine, Wisconsin Urban Wood. (608) 622-7212
- Mark Ryskiewicz, City of Marshfield. (715) 486-2073