On a recent June weekend, more than 60 people came together to change the landscape in the small Boulder County enclave of Salina from one of devastation to one of hope and renewal.
The “BoCo Regrow Salina” event on June 7, 2014, was a community tree-planting project that really reinforced for me the wonderful things that can happen when you combine local community ownership, a few great leaders, and widespread coordination and collaboration towards disaster recovery.
In addition to being impacted by the September 2013 floods, the Salina community was also hard hit by the Fourmile Canyon fire and a previous flood in 2011. So, the Boulder County Long-term Flood Recovery Group (LTFRG), local case managers and Colorado Spirit came together to explore ways to help the struggling community and build community strength. They organized a tree-planting volunteer day in Salina with two goals in mind: to provide trees to households that had lost most of their trees to recent disasters, and to provide a boost to the spirits and community health of Salina by bringing the residents together in a collaborative, positive, empowering experience.
In order to “keep it local,” the Red Cross turned to Anne Brady to prepare lunch and snacks for the project - - Anne is the owner of the Salina Café, which was destroyed in the floods. Anne volunteered to make lunch for the volunteers and residents helping with the tree planting event. Local community leaders said they asked her to “prepare sandwiches and other things for the Saturday planting, since she is our cafe person, and we miss the breakfasts and dinners and her presence.”
- 31 volunteers (youths from Breckenridge)
- 30 Salina Residents
- 18 homes
- 101 trees planted
- 56 shrubs planted