Cradle to Cradle: Trees, Planning, and the Living LandscapeJeremy Harold, City of Harrisonburg Green Space Manager has pioneered its Urban Forestry Program through creative wood reuse. Prompted by the invasion of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), the city identified thousands of trees that would be lost to EAB and would need to come down. Through partnerships with local businesses, downtown organizations and established universities, the city created new life for the ash (and other species) trees that may otherwise have been missed. The session will discuss the latest innovations and best practices in tree planning, ecosystem management, and urban wood utilization. Lemuel Hancock, Shenandoah County Director of Community Development will share how Woodstock, VA evaluated their urban tree canopy and used this data to set ambitious goals for restoring the canopy. This conversation will highlight the growing research supporting the benefits of integrating nature into urban areas. In addition to tree planting, urban wood utilization and reuse can provide a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution for managing wood resources from tree removals and other urban wood sources. Urban wood can be repurposed for a variety of uses, from furniture and flooring to biomass energy production. Proper management of urban wood can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ensure continued carbon storage, and promote sustainability. Joe Lehnen, Virginia Department of Forestry Utilization & Marketing Specialist will provide more information about the statewide program for Wood Utilization to ensure this valuable resource has a second life. The Urban Wood Program provides training and networking opportunities for Virginia municipalities and urban wood businesses. Additionally, the program provides business development and marketing services. The session will include a take home project from Rocktown Urban Wood. Plus, a portable sawmill demonstration. Jeremy Harold received a Forestry Degree from Mountain Gateway Community College and finished with a Business Management degree at Eastern Mennonite University. Briefly worked for Bartlett Tree Experts before working for the Virginia Department of Forestry for five years. Jeremy has worked for the City of Harrisonburg since 2004 mostly as a Park Maintenance Manager and certified arborist. His most recent position as Green Space Manager with Harrisonburg Public Works has allowed him to establish a citywide Pollinator and Urban Forestry program. Both have been award-winning programs. The Virginia Governor’s Environmental Excellent Award was given to the Purcell Park Bioreactor project in 2021 and again to the Urban Wood Program, 2022. The National Recreation and Parks Association recognized Harrisonburg’s Pollinator Program in its most recent Parks and Pollinators: Taking Action and Advancing Sustainability publication.
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