For the first time, urban wood will make its presence felt at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta.

The Full Circle Urban Forestry Network is organizing a free 90-minute seminar, “Urban Wood Utilization: Making Wood Products and Profits from Landscape Trees.” The session is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Attendees of this free session will learn: How to find sources of urban wood; The source local/buy local marketing appeal of urban wood products and the interesting stories they tell; The environmental advantages of utilizing urban wood; and an opportunity to get answers to their questions posed to a panel of seasoned urban wood product experts.

Rich Christianson, communications director of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team and former long-time editor of Woodworking Network, will moderate a panel of three urban wood entrepreneurs. They will discuss their personal passions and experiences of creating products and profits by using landscape and community trees felled by disease, storm damage, old age and other causes. Each of their presentations will shed light on opportunities to repurpose urban wood otherwise destined for the chipper or landfill to make high-quality lumber, slabs, furniture, flooring and other wood products.

Panelists include: Jennifer Alger of Far West Forest Products of Sheridan, California, helps market the family business that specializes in reclaimed wood including lumber the company mills from the area’s urban forest. Ninety percent of the lumber sold by the company comes from within a 500-mile radius of its Sheridan facility. Far West Forest Products also serves as a dealer for Wood-Mizer portable sawmills and blades and offers blade re-sharpening services.

Rick Siewert, who along with his wife, Cindy, owns Wood from the Hood of Minneapolis, Minnesota, will also speak. Wood from the Hood. Siewert also is the owner of Siewert Cabinet & Fixture, a high-tech, 35-man architectural millwork company. Siewert Cabinet is a past winner of the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association’s coveted Innovator of the Year Award and a long-time active member of the Architectural Woodwork Institute including past member of the AWI Board of Directors.

Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has worked tirelessly to build awareness and markets for the abundance of wood from urban trees. Sperber is a founding partner of Wisconsin Urban Wood, a nonprofit focused on building networks of people and businesses that links material streams and availability of quality urban wood products and services across the state. He also is an appointed member of the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council.

Wood-Mizer LLC of Indianapolis, Indiana, a manufacturer of portable sawmills, sawblades and other wood processing equipment and accessories, has signed on as a major sponsor of the program.

Darryl Floyd, COO of Wood-Mizer, said that his company was a pioneer in the urban wood movement. Since 1982 Wood-Mizer portable sawmill owners have turned their logs into lumber for woodworking projects and business profits, he said. Diseased and dying city trees can find new life in a piece of furniture that could have otherwise gone to waste.

While the seminar is being presented free of charge, attendees must register to guarantee a seat at the program. Learn more and register at www.IWFAtlanta.com/Education/nbs6.

For information about becoming a seminar sponsor and general inquiries, contact Rich Christianson at 773-822-6750; richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com.

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