Your chance to dibble in tree planting |

Your chance to dibble in tree planting

Carrie ClickPost Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Watching the Coal Seam Fire tear through trees, vegetation and structures last June made people who saw it feel helpless.Now, almost a year later, locals can volunteer to replant several burned areas around Glenwood Springs. About 150 volunteers are needed to help with the effort. Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, a Denver-based nonprofit organization, and its local affiliate, Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, are teaming up the weekend of April 26-27 for the Coal Seam Fire Restoration project. Volunteers will work in three areas – near the Glenwood Springs Community Center, around the RFTA Bus Barn and around South Canyon – digging holes, preparing the soil and planting hundreds of trees and shrubs. Organizers are planning to plant pion pine, juniper and chokecherry, from small seedlings up to 10-foot-high trees. Keith Desrosiers, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado development and marketing director, said VOC has been promoting the tree planting project to its members. Those calls for help have generated about 250 volunteer applications from all over Colorado. “Now, we’re looking for around 150 local folks,” said David Hamilton, executive director of Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, and the project’s technical advisor. “It’s going to be huge fun and can really help with the healing process.” The idea for the project, VOC’s first wildfire restoration effort, started when Hamilton got a call from the Colorado State Forest Service.”There was about $30,000 in federal grant money available for fire restoration on nonfederal land,” Hamilton said. Immediately, he thought of the land damaged by the Coal Seam Fire owned by the city of Glenwood Springs. RFOV in turn contacted VOC because of the size of the project, and the two organizations joined up.Heath Mackay, VOC project director, said volunteer planting teams will break into crews of eight to 10 people on the flatter sections and smaller groups on the steeper areas. Directed by trained crew leaders, volunteers will dig holes and plant larger trees on the flatter terrain, while smaller crews will plant seedlings on the steeper slopes. Another component of the project, Hamilton said, is restoring the Mitchell Creek Trail. Williams Co. and Shell Oil, which have oil and gas operations in Garfield County, are sponsoring the project. “They consider this an opportunity to help the city of Glenwood Springs,” said Desrosiers. “They’ve also provided us free access to their public relations firm, M.J. Communications.”Hamilton said the federal grant money will mainly go towards purchasing trees. Donations are still needed to purchase shrubs and other seedlings. Donations can be mailed to RFOV, P.O. Box 1341, Basalt, CO 81621. Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext.

Volunteers are needed one or both days, April 26-27. Tools, lunch and a volunteer gift are provided. All volunteers must fill out an application before the project date and will receive an information packet in the mail. -Call Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers at 927-8241 and leave your mailing address.-E-mail and leave your address.-Send your name and address to Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, P.O. Box 1341, Basalt, CO 81621.

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