Sep 28, 2021 - Politics

Iowa Department of Natural Resources launches urban lumber program

A photo of a table made from Iowa wood.

A table made with urban lumber harvested in Iowa. Photo courtesy of the Iowa DNR/Habitat for Humanity

Lumber from Des Moines-metro trees is now for sale in the area.

What's happening: The Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity is partnering with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for a pilot urban lumber program.

Why it matters: The program aims to maximize the use of local trees to minimize waste.

  • Urban lumber can reduce costs, create jobs and improve ecosystems while simultaneously adding diversity and sustainability to U.S. wood supplies, according to the USDA.

State of play: Commercially sold lumber generally comes from outside Iowa, while urban trees are often used for mulch or firewood, Iowa forestry specialist Aron Flickinger tells us.

  • Urban wood isn't graded, so it's not typically used for home construction. However, you can find it in cabinetry, flooring, trim and furniture.

Of note: The lumber program is in pilot stages so, for now, there isn't a directory of urban cutters who will donate your tree to the program.

Where to get it: Habitat for Humanity Restore, 2200 E. Euclid Ave, DSM, and 4033 NW Urbandale Dr., Urbandale.

  • Monday-Saturday, from 9am to 6pm.

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