Promoting Urban Forestry and Harvesting Waste Wood in Waukesha County, Wisconsin and Beyond
Engaging stakeholders and providing technical assistance to municipalities to incorporate urban wood utilization into municipal planning.
Why this Project Matters
The utilization of urban wood that must be removed due to disease, pests or other circumstances is an important aspect of a community’s sustainability, yet many of the communities in Waukesha county have not planned for the maintenance, care and use of their urban trees. Typically, when municipalities remove urban trees due to death, disease or development, the wood is treated as waste and is disposed of by chipping or even being left to rot in landfills. These processes cost municipalities money and time while bringing little value back to the community. By establishing community forest and urban wood utilization plans, communities can use this local, sustainable, and renewable resource to enhance the local environment and reduce community expenses.
How the Project Is Helping Municipal Officials Incorporate Urban Wood Utilization into Municipal Planning
The Sustainable Resources Institute (SRI) is providing technical assistance to Waukesha County to complete their urban forest management and wood utilization plan that will serve as an example for other municipalities in the county, in Wisconsin and beyond. SRI is developing a story map template and partner PDF from this plan that other communities can use in their urban tree lifecycle planning processes. This tool will include photos and videos that will show as well as tell how to overcome common barriers to adoption and sustainability of full lifecycle management.
The urban forest management plan will broaden urban forest management to include the entire lifecycle of the tree. This will provide opportunities for municipalities to reap environmental benefits and cost-savings that can be reinvested into tree plantings to maintain urban tree canopies. In addition, producing a consistent supply of urban wood has the potential to support local urban wood industries and in turn benefit local economies.
The SFI Community Grant Program is supporting this project. The Wisconsin SFI Implementation Committee is a key partner that gives project participants access to experts in the SFI network. SFI also values this project for its ability to contribute to the development and dissemination of best management practices or pilot projects that advance sustainability in urban forests. These efforts will assist with the development of a U.S.-Canada collaborative SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard.
How this Project Builds SFI Community Engagement
The Urban Wood Network will partner with its Wisconsin chapter and local sustainability experts to engage stakeholders and provide technical assistance to municipalities to incorporate urban wood utilization into municipal planning processes. Encouraging the development of a consistent supply of municipal urban wood resources will also potentially stimulate a local, sustainable urban wood industry.
This partnership includes municipal officials, urban forestry experts, forest sector professionals, and SFI‑certified organizations.
The Sustainable Resources Institute provides education on and certification in sustainable natural resource management. SRI increases the use of environmentally friendly and sustainable techniques for multiple-use forest management and the production of forest products. These preferred techniques take into account wildlife habitat, water quality, recreation, aesthetics, and forest health values. SRI directs its efforts toward professional loggers, land managers, and landowners involved with the management and protection of natural resources. Learn more.