Changing The Landscape

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Taking full advantage of a break in the weather, over 30 red-shirted team members on last weekend’s Sky Corral missions trip accomplished all that they set out to do, changed the landscape in the Stove Prairie area of Larimer County, and acquired a new nickname in the process.

Serve 6.8 has been working with victims of the High Park Fire since last summer to aid in their recovery. This latest (and largest) work effort centered around Sky Corral Ranch. The Ranch operates as a Christian family retreat center with the goal of introducing families and ministries to the Creator through activities and discipleship while in the midst of His creation. Stove Prairie Community Church operates out of Sky Corral with approximately 40 people from the surrounding area attending each week. By working with these local ministries, the team was able to strengthen existing relationships in the community.

While 2012 fires spared the structures at the ranch, they consumed about 10% of the land, leaving ten acres damaged enough to be a problem for both safety and erosion. So, the first order of business for the Serve 6.8 Fire Recovery Team was to cut down trees and use them to stabilize the hillsides to prevent erosion and keep ash from running into the waterways.

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In addition to cutting down trees, the team planted 650 new trees and shrubs. The ground might have been a tad muddy from a snow storm earlier in the week, but that made it easier to dig the necessary holes. As if the new junipers, conifers, and ponderosa pines weren’t enough new greenery on the slopes, the team scattered 50 pounds of grass seed … in time for God to provide a blanket of moisture-laden snow on top.

Beyond the property lines of the Sky Corral Ranch, the team was also able to assist a local homeowner who had lost most of her outbuildings and some of her livestock fencing in the fires. A few team members spent the entire trip building a fence while another group built a new loafing shed for Amy’s two horses and donkey. By Sunday morning, Amy reported that HeeHaw, the donkey, had already moved into the shed and was guarding it. She thanked the team and Serve 6.8 for their help and said this really helped her outlook, since it felt like at times they were forgotten by the folks on the front range.

Watch this video to see the team in action!

Going forward, work crews will continue to return to the area to cut down and plant trees. If you are interested in being a part of changing the landscape and bringing hope to this community, contact Ron Hedrick at rhedrick@serve68.org. (To learn more about Sky Corral Ranch, visit http://www.skycorral.net.)

And that nickname the team acquired? The camp director’s father called them an army of red ants swarming the hillsides.

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