Tag Archives: Urban Forest

Urban Forest Fest | July 26, 2014

urbanForestFestJoin Sustainable Atwood and  Wisconsin Urban Wood as we host the Urban Forest Fest! Its happening during the AtwoodFest in Madison on July 26.

Event details:

Date: July 26, 2014

Time: 10am-4pm

Location: 1904 Winnebago St, Madison WI 53704 – Trinity Lutheran Church parking lot

Questions? Email trees@sustainableatwood.org

Dead trees are wood, not waste.

Dead Trees | All is not lost | You can help

The emerald ash borer is certain to certain to kill ash trees in our neighborhood forest–on both public and private property. EAB is not the only threat to our trees. Many other species are taken from the urban forest for other reasons every day.

All is not lost.

Dead and dying trees are one of the neighborhood’s oldest natural resources--their wood can live on in our homes and lives if they get into the right hands at the right time.  Otherwise, they are likely to be entirely turned to chips and firewood.

You can help.
We created the “The Sustainable Atwood Neighborhood Guide to the Urban Forest” to explain what can be done to ensure timely and best uses of our dead and dying trees.
Help deliver our short guide to every home in the Atwood neighborhood so everyone will know what they can do.
  • We need 10 teams of 2-4 people. (Please create your team)
    • Saturday, April 26 (or any day convenient for your team thereafter) 
    • Team’s choice of two hour time slots between 8am-7 pm
Will you help? Reply to this message to sign up your team.
Thank you so much,
Yours for a sustainable urban forest,
~Sustainable Atwood

P.S. We are looking for a local sponsor to supply refreshments for our teams. We’d love to hear from you.

News Article in Madison Commons by Sean Kirkby

Urban Wood projects showcased at Atwood Urban Forest Fest

Members of Boy Scouts Troop 34 build a bench out of urban wood that will sit outside Trinity Lutheran Church (Sean Kirkby/Madison Commons)
PHOTO: Members of Boy Scouts Troop 34 build a bench out of urban wood that will sit outside Trinity Lutheran Church (Sean Kirkby/Madison Commons)


By Sean Kirkby    |  Mon, 06/24/2013 – 1:12pm

Despite rain that canceled many of the Atwood Urban Forest Fests events, a small group of neighbors, churchgoers and environmental advocates showcased objects made from urban wood Saturday at Trinity Lutheran Church on Winnebago Street.

Urban wood comes from trees that are not harvested for their timber value, such as those that are damaged or diseased, according to Twink Jan-McMahon, executive director of Sustainable Atwood, which hosted the event.

She said the Atwood neighborhood has more than 8,000 private and public trees that comprise its urban forest.

“When those trees come down, they turn to chips and firewood,” Jan-McMahon said. “We want to change that because there are many, many more things we can make out of the exact same trees.”

For instance, Jordan Henkel, a participant in a woodworking program at Madison College, used locally-donated urban wood to build a bicycle, according to Jan-McMahon.

Sean Gere, owner of Gere Tree Inc., also brought other items made from urban wood to the event, including a bat made from a black locust tree, a platter made from butternut and a bowl made of amur corktree from Olbrich Botanical Gardens.

“Im awed every single time I see the amazing things that can be done with wood,” Gere said. “You can extrapolate out to so many other things we waste that can be re-used.”

The festival also included the dedication of a Little Free Library made from urban wood and containing stained glass windows, which will be placed outside of the church. During the event, a group of Troop 34 Boy Scouts used urban wood to build a bench that will be placed next to the library.

“I am absolutely thrilled to see both the library and the beautiful bench in front of our church,” said Sheldon Elleston, a member of Trinity Lutheran Church. “Its going to be a grace to our church and a beacon of joy to our members and hopefully to our whole community.”

Jan-McMahon said the missing link between urban forest resources and supporting the forest is getting the public to buy local wood or locally-produced products from urban wood.

“Its more expensive dollar-wise but not economy-wise,” Jan-McMahon said. “It really supports the local economy and local jobs.”

Jen Voichick, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County ReStore director, said the ReStore is working with The Wood Cycle of Wisconsin to sell urban wood at its West Side location. She said they are offering “Dane County Blend Flooring,” which consists of urban wood from throughout the Madison area.

Voichick said the location has only sold urban wood for the last three weeks and is planning to launch a publicity campaign to let the public know about the product.

“Its the first partnership weve ever had with a local entity outside of the ReStore, so its a nice thing to start because it has to do with re-using trees,” Voichick said.

The wood is kiln-dried, killing any potential infestations. Voichick said those interested in purchasing urban wood or in finding out more can visit www.restoredane.org

Sustainable Atwood, supported by a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, also offers other services to the community such as “Green Tuesdays,” where the organization shows free movies that focus on sustainability efforts, Jan-McMahon said.

The organization also runs a community solar program, the first of its kind in Wisconsin, in which neighbors loan the organization money to build solar panels, according to Jan-McMahon. Sustainable Atwood pays them back at low interest rates. Urban forestry also goes hand in hand with spreading solar energy, Jan-McMahon said. Neighbors who want solar energy but have trees shadowing their roofs can partner with other neighbors who have sunny roofs to receive green energy without having to cut down trees.

The organization also focuses on other programs too, such as working with Madison Metro Transit to encourage people to ride the bus by offering Sustainable Atwood Commute Cards.

“One of our goals is to be a zero carbon community, and so were trying to get as many people on alternative forms of transportation as possible other than fuel-oriented,” Jan-McMahon said.

Sustainable Atwood plans to host the event again next year, and Jan-McMahon said they hope to make it a model for other Madison neighborhoods and other cities to follow.

Link to original article: http://www.madisoncommons.org/?q=node/1860

Rained out, but not washed out! | First Annual Atwood Urban Forest Fest

 Friends of Sustainable Atwood,

A glowing red rain cell threatened to bear down just as the Atwood Urban Forest Fest was set to begin a week ago Saturday, June 22. We couldn’t risk the potential rain damage on the beautiful furniture made from Atwood’s trees, the bicycle made from urban wood, neither could we mill Big Oak Childcare’s big oak, nor set up tents with loads of information and people to tell you about the exciting things going on in our neighborhood forests … so, sadly, we had to cancel our event because of the impending storm (ironically, because it wiped out so many trees).

However, we made the best of it and ducked inside Trinity Lutheran Church for a mini-forest fest.  You can check out our pictures here.

We held a brief dedication ceremony for the new Little Free Urban Forest Library located at Winnebago and 1st Street (in front of Trinity Lutheran Church), along with a bench made of cherry wood taken from a storm damaged tree on private property only 5 miles from where the bench was installed.

A huge thank you to our would-be-guests speakers, Alder Marsha Rummel, City Forester Marla Eddy, Jen Voichick of Habitat Restore, Allison Werner of Big Oak Childcare, our would-be-miller, our many presenters and wood workers, and to MG&E who printed our flyers! And another huge thanks to everyone in the neighborhood who braved the rain to check out the forest fest.

A special thanks to Sean Kirkby for his article in Madison Commons about our project.

Until next year, we’ll keep looking for ways to show you how to save valuable wood from the waste stream. Check out Habitat Restore West’s new urban wood rack where they are selling hickory, black walnut, cherry, oak and ash from local trees. Keep your eyes open for our upcoming Neighborhood Guide to Urban Wood and … next year’s Second Annual Atwood Urban Forest Fest!

For the Planet,

Twink Jan-McMahon  &   Tiffany Jan

Atwood Urban Forest Fest | June 22, 2013

See one of our very own neighborhood trees milled into usable wood just blocks from where the tree, sadly, had to come down at Big Oak Childcare. Learn how our forest can become furniture and flooring, among many other important applications for home and architectural use. See a fantastic bicycle made of local wood–we saw it at Revolution Cycles and new it just had to be part of this fest! Bring your children, friends and neighbors (and your neighbors kids!). We hope to see you there!

Atwood Urban Forest Fest

Trinity Lutheran church parking lot

Saturday June 22, 2013 | 10-2pm


Congratulations! SA wins 2nd DNR Urban Forestry grant!

We got the grant!

Thanks to you…

The DNR has awarded Sustainable Atwood a second grant valued at $49,000 ($24,500 cash + $24,500 donation) for the project proposal:

EAB Readiness & Full-Cycle Response: Stewarding our Urban Forest’s Natural Resources

Sometimes public and private trees must be removed from the urban forest–because of bug, blight or circumstance. Many people would like their tree to become something other than wood chips and firewood, but few know whom to turn to. This grant seeks to connect neighborhoods, professionals, local businesses, artists and organizations to ensure the best use & practices for our trees—for the benefit of all.

Here’s a partial description of the project–a proposed publication called The Neighbor’s Guide to the Urban Forest:

Urban forests are mainly owned, not by cities, but by individuals who are largely unaware that–like drinking water, air and land—they own part of a collective resource that can bring multiple benefits when approached with best management practices. The “Neighbors Guide to the Urban Forest” will help the community understand their part in the management of the forest and, in addition, give them the information they need to make the best use of their woodland lot.

In addition to the brainstorming and networking that will go in to creating the guide, we can look forward to other ways of advancing best urban forest management and high-end-use-first practices by holding wood processing demonstrations, accompanied by teaching events, and the building and installation of Little Urban Forest Libraries, to name a few.

When calls were made in late September to find out if there was enough support to lift this project, it was clear the idea had been germinating for a while. The DNR’s grant award confirms the projects time has definitely come! Thanks to our growing list of partnerships for being game to work on this exciting endeavor in 2012! We hope youll join us, too. Watch this website for updates.

To a sustainable neighborhood AND a very Happy New Year!