Plant a tree, save a forest

CEC schedules Brown’s Park volunteer opportunity

If you go...

What: Work days at Brown’s Park National Wildlife Refuge

Who: With the Colorado Environmental Coalition

When: Caravan departs at 7 a.m. from Steamboat Springs, at 8 a.m. from Craig on Nov. 2 and 3.

For more information or to register, contact Sasha Nelson at 824-5241 or sasha@ourcolorado.org.

The Colorado Environmental Coalition in Craig has a volunteer opportunity approaching when in November it returns to the Brown’s Park National Wildlife Refuge to plant cottonwood seedlings.

Volunteers have been planting native cottonwoods in Brown’s Park for the last 10 years. This is at least the fifth year CEC is taking crews out to the refuge, said Sasha Nelson, CEC’s northwest organizer.

“There are few things more rewarding or long lasting than planting trees that may live 300 years or more,” Nelson said. “We’ve seen a 99 percent success rate with the trees we’ve planted surviving.”

CEC accepts volunteers of all ages and abilities, Nelson said, and plants an average of 25 to 50 trees each trip depending on the size of the group.

The CEC generally organizers two cottonwood planting trips each year.

Cottonwoods provide critical habitat for western river ecosystems, according to a CEC news release about the event. Most cottonwood forests throughout the west are endangered by insufficient spring flooding and/or invasive species.

“When transplanted seedlings take root and rehabilitation is successful, we will have played a pivotal role in one important step towards saving the west’s cottonwoods,” the release states.

The event takes place Nov. 2 and 3. Volunteers will begin caravanning west from Steamboat Springs at 7 a.m. both days.

Local participants will join them in Craig and continue on to Brown’s Park at 8 a.m.

Volunteers will be encouraged to dedicate at least one tree, Nelson said. Eventually that information will be loaded into a GIS system, allowing people to monitor a tree’s growth through google maps.

In addition to volunteers, the CEC is looking for organizations interested in partnering or sponsoring the event.

For more information or to register, contact Nelson at 824-5241 or sasha@ourcolorado.org.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com

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