Today, Delta Institute CEO Jean Pogge announced that Delta has been awarded a grant from Grand Victoria Foundation (GVF) to support the creation of a market for urban wood, an undervalued renewable resource.
“It is estimated that millions of trees will need to be removed in the next 7 to 10 years as the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation works through the Great Lakes region,” Pogge says. “We are grateful for Grand Victoria Foundation’s continued support of this project which will allow Delta to turn a natural resource challenge into an economic development opportunity for the Chicagoland region.”
The GVF grant will fund Year 2 of a two-year project designed to develop an economic development framework for felled urban trees. In Year 1, Delta researched supply and demand chains for urban wood and confirmed that value-added processing of these trees is feasible. In Year 2, Delta will work to build the market for urban wood by advancing an industry-wide standard for urban wood harvesting and stimulating local demand for urban wood. Once completed, this project is expected to bring additional value to our natural resource systems and support local economic development opportunities.
This urban wood project aligns with Delta Institute’s work to transform waste from an environmental liability to an economic asset, and it builds upon Delta’s 15 years of experience developing and expanding sustainable markets in the Great Lakes region.