Forest Service R&D is advancing innovative methods for using wood to promote sustainable development and economic growth.
The Baltimore Wood Project is an integrated set of projects aimed at better understanding and utilizing Baltimore’s wood resources. Wood is a locally abundant and renewable resource that is frequently landfilled instead of harvested. This versatile but underused resource can help improve and revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Forest Service scientists at the Baltimore Field Station and the Forest Products Laboratory are working together with the city’s government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community leaders to explore how its wood resources can be salvaged, recycled, and repurposed. These efforts, listed below, together showcase ways in which the city and residents can use urban wood resources to create jobs, spur local enterprise, encourage green infrastructure solutions, and help achieve a vision of a sustainable future.
- project COUNT: Conduct resource inventories of potentially salvageable building materials and woody biomass from tree trimmings and storm debris.
- project SALVAGE: Provide technical expertise to help develop a building deconstruction program to recover intact wood from decaying buildings.
- project SORT: Explore the feasibility of establishing a local facility dedicated to sorting, cleaning, and processing wood supplies for maximum value.
- project USE: Assess the potential of a prototype bark filter to treat urban stormwater runoff.
- project BUILD: Challenge local architects to design a sustainable Baltimore row house exhibiting the smallest possible carbon footprint.
- project LEARN: Share best practices and resources from the Baltimore Wood Project for the benefit of other communities seeking to implement Wood Projects of their own.
The Baltimore Wood Project helps us to rethink the value of what many consider to be urban wood “waste,” and the role that urban wood can play in achieving a city’s economic, social, and environmental sustainability goals.
- Jim Reaves, Deputy Chief, Forest Service R&D
The row house is iconic to our City, and finding ways to advance its design for the future is beneficial to the City as a whole… Encouraging the design of a row-home that reduces greenhouse gases, and one that is affordable, helps us achieve our goal of a 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2015.
- Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor, City of Baltimore