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D20 middle school students planted trees in Black Forest burn scar

Colorado Forest Service says this help restore wildfire devastation
Posted at 5:17 PM, May 16, 2024

BLACK FOREST, Colo. — Academy School District 20 Village Middle School students wanted to help regrow Black Forest one tree at a time.

This comes nearly 11 years after the historic wildfire.

"I'm excited because I've been waiting a long time for this," said sixth-grade student, Bethany Slate.

The student-led project started at the beginning of the school year. The hope is to continue this project and plant more trees in years to come.

"Every little bit makes a difference," said a Colorado forester, Eric Gehkre.

With the help of Colorado forestry, students planted 20 trees at D20s School In The Woods.

A task many students say means a lot to them.

'''Cause I've been out here before, but seeing all of the dead trees and thinking like how that fire like devastated this forest, it's really cool to help rebuild it," said eighth-grade student, Emma Turnbow.

Gehrke said with this much devastation, it can be hard for nature to regrow on its own.

"These areas are tough to get going again, there's no seed source close by so those trees are providing that source for the future trees," said Gehrke.

"We're just really pleased to see that when we give kids some voice and some freedom and a little bit of space, they can do amazing things," said an academic support teacher, Jody Cameron.

Through this project, about 15 students grew passionate about the environment. Some dug deeper into a career in forestry.

"I would love to be able to do something like this," said Turnbow.

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