June has arrived and it’s my favorite time of the year. The solstice happens around the 21st and that means summer is here…finally! Now I understand from some of you that it isn’t your favorite time because it’s “hot” but I love it because it’s not winter.
Did I say that May wouldn’t be as busy as April? Well it really was a busy month after all. Prescott Creeks held an open house party at our new office to let people come and see our new “digs”. We had a great turnout with many of our old and some new friends coming over for some afternoon outside time with wine and hors d’oeuvres provided by our board of directors. Our mobile stream table, Rambling River was up and running and captured a lot of people’s imagination throughout the evening. I think we can now stop calling it “our new office” and just call it “our office”.
Right at the end of May the folks from ACE (See my December blog for details about ACE) called and offered us the services of a crew for four days if we could use them. Wow, a crew of young volunteers for four days! No turning down that! We had to scramble and get them accommodations at Watson Lake Park for camping (thanks to the people at the Parks Department for making that happen), and also come up with a work plan to keep a crew of 11 people busy for the week. We spent the time doing two different jobs. First, we walked the woods from the north end to the south end and dug up all the Scotch Thistle we could find. We estimated that we killed over 16,000 of the invasive weeds! Next, we started what will be a long term project of cutting up and removing downed trees. Watson Woods has lots of downed trees that died as a result of fires over the years. Those dead trees are now themselves a fire hazard and we really need to get them out of the woods. The ACE crew leader, Karoline, spent one whole day with her trusty chainsaw cutting dead trees into firewood. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew carried the cut wood out of the woods to the service road and loaded it onto our trailer. We made four trips with the 12 foot long, fully loaded trailer to unload and stack the wood in an open area where it will not be a fire hazard. It turned out that over eleven hundred firewood logs were cut, moved and stacked. And that is just the start. We have at least ten times that much more in the woods! You might wonder what we’ll do with so much wood. I know I have wondered that as I pondered the job over the last year or so. The answer is to get it into the hands of people who need it to keep warm. We are working with the Coalition for Compassion and Justice (CCJ) here in town to do just that. Before the end of summer those folks are going to arrange to transport the wood to those who need it. What a great way to turn a problem into a solution!
Well, that’s all from the field this month. I hope you all have a very enjoyable month of June!