Help sow the seeds of recovery Saturday up Mitchell Creek |

Help sow the seeds of recovery Saturday up Mitchell Creek

In the wake of the Coal Seam Fire that ravaged thousands of acres in West Glenwood and destroyed 29 homes in early June, the threat of mudslides and flood remains.

In an effort to minimize the damage, the Timberland Company, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Student Conservation Association are working together to organize a reseeding workday in the Mitchell Creek area from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.

At least 100 volunteers are needed to reseed the 75 acres that pose the most immediate threat from mudslides.

Members of the Student Conservation Association will coordinate on-site logistics, working closely with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Local retailers are helping to publicize the event and nonprofits, including the Aspen Valley Community Foundation and Spring Board, are recruiting volunteers.

“This is a unique alliance of business and community coming together to make a difference in an emergency situation,” said Mark Bodin, vice president of operations of the Student Conservation Association. “The range of expertise and resources brought to bear on this project is remarkable.”

The project comes on the heels of a $1 million aerial reseeding project on Red Mountain and Mitchell Creek done by the federal government.

This on-the-ground project calls for volunteers to prepare the soil by raking the entire seeding area, then spread seed by hand.

“There is no substitute for volunteers working the land and carefully planting seeds,” said Dennis Davidson, district conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

“Because manpower will be donated, hand seeding is more cost effective. Furthermore, such a meticulous effort of soil preparation and seeding increases the chances that seed will take and therefore prevent soil erosion,” he said.

Spearheading the organization of the event is Timberland, a footwear and apparel company that has a long history of community service.

The local partner for the project is Summit Canyon Mountaineering in downtown Glenwood Springs.

For more details or to sign up for the Coal Seam Fire restoration project, call 945-6994 or stop by Summit Canyon Mountaineering at 732 Grand Ave. Upvalley residents can contact Aspen Sports, 408 E. Cooper Ave., Aspen, 925-6331.

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