Dec 12, 2012 12:49 PM by Kirsten Bennett

reGrowCO surpasses goal of 1,600 trees for wildfire recovery

This spring, more than 1,600 tree seedlings will be planted in wildfire-affected areas throughout Colorado to recognize the 1,600 firefighters who battled the Waldo Canyon Fire.

The seedlings will help to replenish the land the firefighters are dedicated to protecting, and the donation is a result of the fundraising efforts by reGrowCO, a joint initiative involving several local organizations.

Colorado Springs Professional Firefighters Local 5, the City of Colorado Springs, Vladimir Jones and Polar Bottle teamed up to develop the branded reGrowCO water bottle. With each bottle sold, a portion of the proceeds is donated to the Local 5 as well as the Colorado State Forest Service Restoring Colorado's Forests Fund to aid in statewide reforestation efforts.

"The fires this summer were devastating to so many, and we want to do what we can to help rebuild. This is our community as well," said Eric Ruettinger, of the Colorado Springs Professional Firefighters, Local 5.

Now that reGrowCO has reached its goal, the organization needs help planting seedlings. The trees are expected to be planted this spring and the Colorado State Forest Service will need volunteers to help plant trees. reGrowCO is asking those who are interested in volunteering with helping to plant seedlings in Colorado Springs to contact Jamie Dahl, volunteer coordinator at the Colorado State Forest Service. She can be reached by email at

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