Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Organizations Unite to Restore Grass and Trees to Black Forest

Lt. Jamal Davis, Eddie Bracken, Sally Broomfield, and
Melissa Chambless pose in front of the Red Cross
Disaster Emergency Response Vehicle May 3 at the
1144 Teachout Black Forest Fire Station.
Photo by Carolyn Sharp/American Red Cross
The Pikes Peak American Red Cross, the Black Forest Fire Department and the non-profit Black Forest Together collaborated May 3rd on recovery efforts to restore 200 acres of grass and trees to the Black Forest community.

One of the recipients, Judy von Ahlefeldt who came out to get seeds and trees for her own property said, “This project shows the dedication of the Red Cross, the Black Forest Fire Department and the Black Forest Together volunteers.”

Eddie Bracken gives Melissa Chambless a big
Red Cross hug.
Photo by Charlie Mussi/American Red Cross
One of the volunteers, Max Stafford with the Red Cross, said, “It was a pleasure to help everyone. We are here to help.” Andy Meng who took his seedlings home and immediately planted them said, “We lost hundreds of trees in the Black Forest fire. We are hoping for a total restoration from this donation. This is a new beginning for us and we greatly appreciate the help.

The whole event could not have happened without the assistance of the Black Forest Together non-profit. The Black Forest Together organization was founded by Eddie and Nancy Bracken. It started with 10 people on day 6 of the Black Forest fire. In less than a month they had 150 members.

Red Cross volunteer Max Stafford helps give out seed
and trees donated by the American Red Cross to those
impacted by the Black Forest Fire last year.
Photo by Carolyn Sharp/American Red Cross
Nancy said, “We connected with the Red Cross for this project six weeks ago. They donated $20,000 for seeds and seedlings. Gary Schinderly, a local Black Forest business owner, of Golf Enviro, then provided the seeds and trees for this community restoration project. We are hopeful to have another event like this in the fall.”

Eddie Bracken added, “We drive through the current barren land and now know soon it will be green and lush again. This gives people here hope and a new sense of transformation and instills a much needed positive mood.”

Red Cross Disaster Program Manager, Sally Broomfield said,  “I love the ‘whole community’ approach of this event. This effort is bringing people together to rebuild the forest. It’s not just one agency focusing on one project, it’s pulling everyone together to accomplish something good!”

Ellie and Andy Meng along with Red Cross volunteer
Jim Sim plant a new seedling in their yard.
Photo by Arnett Luce/American Red Cross

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