Project Leader: Patrick Gallo Project Dates: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The month of July started out strong for the team with a day working with the Engine Crew at the Chilao Fire Station. We worked with Engine 16 and learned what the crew does on a daily basis. We got to watch a tree felling demonstration and learned how to operate fire hose. This was a nice break for the crew since we just spent most of June working to reopen the Monte Cristo campground, so the change of pace was much appreciated. Since the crew had done such a good job during the month of June, we took a week off to enjoy the Fourth of July Weekend. After the break, we attended the Great American Outdoors Listening Session in Los Angeles. This was a national initiative from the Office of the President of the United States to solicit input from the country on how to best use America’s open spaces and recreation areas, particularly park and forests. The session included speeches from officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior, and the Army Corps of Engineers.
After the listening session the crew began preparing for our volunteer service day with Home Depot. The crew camped out at the Wildwood Picnic Area, the site location for the project, in order to be closer to the project site instead of driving an hour from Chilao. This event was to kickoff SCA’s partnership with Home Depot, in all we had 75 volunteers help us restore picnic tables, the bathroom, the BBQ grills, and a complete site cleanup and hazard reduction.
After the Home Depot Project, we returned to the Chilao barracks and got back to a more normal routine. We continued our work removing Spanish Broom and started up a new project, Trail Restoration with the Sierra Club. Every other Saturday, we helped the Trails Coordinator lead a group of Sierra Club volunteers on various trail projects. Most of these projects helped address issues related to the burn-affected trails like the Silver Moccasin Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. On both of these trails, the crew and volunteers built drainage dips and timber structures to help slow erosion on the trail.
The crew also took time to enjoy the forest as well; we took a day-hike up to the top of Mount Islip. The hike allowed us to take a break from all of the work and gain some perspective on the rest of our project.
We closed out the month of July with a three day hike to the West Fork Campground. While West Fork was not affected by the fire, it was in the Station Fire Closure because the campground was in dire need of restoration. There, the crew and seven volunteers built five concrete picnic tables, installed two new fire rings, and performed hazard reduction throughout the campground.