Drake, Colo. (April 23, 2015) – The Colorado Community Tree Recovery Campaign – a partnership between the Arbor Day Foundation, the Colorado State Forest Service, Black Forest Together and the Big Thompson Canyon Association – marks the second year of a multi-year campaign to provide 10,000 trees this year to Colorado residents free of charge to replace trees damaged and destroyed by the 2013 Black Forest Fire and Big Thompson Canyon flooding.
Colorado will be holding separate events throughout April and May to distribute new trees in the affected areas. Distributions focused on residents affected by the flooding in Big Thompson Canyon will kick off today, Thursday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. in Drake, Colorado. Subsequent distributions will be held during May. The distribution focused on residents affected by the 2013 Black Forest fire will be held on May 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Black Forest Fire/Rescue Station Two, 16465 Ridge Run Road. The distributed tree species are provided by the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery, and will include ponderosa pine, Douglasfir, quaking aspen, chokecherry, three-leaf sumac, cottonwood, serviceberry and Rocky Mountain juniper.
Colorado was the fifth state in which the Arbor Day Foundation and its on-the-ground partners established a local state campaign as part of the Community Tree Recovery program, and is the ninth of ten individual state campaigns that will take place this spring.
Community Tree Recovery program events across the nation are supported by national program sponsor FedEx, which has long supported communities in need through disaster relief, recovery and environmental sustainability.
On June 11, 2013, the Black Forest Fire was sparked, and it raged through Black Forest, Colorado. This destructive fire burned more than 14,000 acres, destroyed 488 homes and took two lives. This fire surpassed the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire to become the most destructive fire in Colorado's state history. This fire was followed on September 12, 2013, with massive flooding through the many small communities that border the Big Thompson Canyon. Nearly 8 inches of rain fell in 48 hours near Estes Park, and more than 13 inches fell near Drake. As these communities recover from these devastating events, the Arbor Day Foundation continues to work with our on-the-ground partners to get new trees back in the hands of homeowners who desperately need them.
Trees are assets to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help to improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood or shopping district, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants, and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits.
The Colorado Community Tree Recovery campaign is a multi-year partnership between the Colorado State Forest Service, Black Forest Together and the Arbor Day Foundation. Financial support for this specific campaign is being provided by FedEx, Canon and Davey Tree.
About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a million member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information is available at arborday.org.
About the Colorado State Forest Service: The Colorado State Forest Service is the lead state agency for providing forest stewardship and management, fuels reduction and wildfire mitigation assistance to private landowners in Colorado. Every year, the CSFS helps treat 20,000 acres of forestland, assists approximately 6,400 landowners and hundreds of communities to help improve forest health, and distributes approximately 1 million seedling trees and shrubs from its nursery. The CSFS is a service and outreach agency of the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University.
About Black Forest Together: Black Forest Together, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, formed by Black Forest citizens to support the long-term recovery of the Black Forest community. More information is available at BlackForestTogether.org
About the Big Thompson Canyon Association: The Big Thompson River Restoration Coalition (BTRC) is a coalition of government, private landowners, and non-profit organizations working to implement restoration of the Big Thompson River after the flooding in September 2013. BTRRC has established teams of technical advisors to visit sections of river, providing ecological and restoration recommendations for rapid response and long-term efforts. BTRRC also aims to obtain resources and recruit volunteers for approved restoration projects along the Big Thompson River corridor, and sign stakeholders up for participation in long-term restoration projects. In addition, the BTRRC facilitates communication between stakeholders and agencies that provide funding and/or authorization for river restoration projects.