Abandoned buildings. They're unsightly, they can bring rodents and other pests, and they can bring down the entire value of the neighborhood. What’s more, once they are torn down, the materials they are made of become wasted and go into landfills where they can pollute the atmosphere.
In the Baltimore neighborhood of McKean Park, abandoned buildings are just another sign of the high crime, high dropout rates and prevalent drug dealings that are destroying the community. But fortunately, there are local residents that are trying to turn it around. Brick and Board's efforts have proven successful and repurposed wood brings hope to the community.
Brick and Board
Brick and Board is just one of the many groups that are part of the Baltimore Wood Project. The members involved find abandoned buildings and salvage all the materials they can from the structures before they are torn down. Not only is this a great way to recycle the resources, it also keeps them out of landfills.
As an added bonus, they put locals to work rescuing the materials, giving them a much-needed source of income and bringing an added sense of hope to the community.
The efforts of Brick and Board have really paid off over the years. In four years, they have managed to salvage over one million square feet of wood. The USDA has taken notice is spearheading the project in order to expand it. And as other cities are buckling down with similar efforts, The Baltimore Wood Project is evolving into the Urban Wood Project.
Sarah Hines, a representative of the USDA Forest Project has worked with the Baltimore project and has recognized the many ways the project has helped the community. “This is wood, for example, locked up in these vacant and abandoned rowhomes that would otherwise be wasted – sent to the landfill or otherwise wasted – and we see the potential to capture and reuse that wood for a greater good,” says Hines.
Urban Wood Goods
While Brick and Board does what they can to transform a community, here at Urban Wood Goods, we are doing our part as well. Our custom made; handcrafted furniture is made of 100% reclaimed wood. In this way, we are also doing what we can to increase sustainability, reduce environmental impact and keep wood out of landfills. What’s more, the older wood our pieces are made of give them added durability and a distinct sense of character that cannot be replicated.
With so much being done to preserve older wood, it is hopeful that within time, the earth will begin to benefit from the efforts of organizations like the Baltimore Wood Project. If everyone pitches in a little bit, we can all start to see a healthier environment and a greener world.