Beginning Thursday, April 25, and continuing through Wednesday, May 2, a Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) crew will work on the MVSD campus to begin improving the wildfire safety and resilience of the forested portions of the MVSD campus. This service is being funded by the WA Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and will be provided at no cost to the School District.
The four or five young people making up the WCC crew have been trained and are experienced in conducting this type of work. The crew will be supplemented and supervised by Kelly Gilchrist from Wenatchee, who has previously led this and other WCC crews on various projects in the Methow Valley. Jake Hardt, DNR Landowner Assistance Forester, who has assessed the fuels reduction needs on the MVSD campus, will orient Kelly and the crew to the project on the first day of work.
The WCC crew will work eight 10-hour days, with a focus on pruning mature ponderosa pine trees, clearing brush, and removing other woody material from the ground under the trees’ canopy. The purpose of pruning branches up to at least 8’ from ground level, and in certain conditions higher, is to prevent fire from reaching the crown and killing the trees. The clearing of brushy ladder fuels will help reduce the chance of root damage if fire moves through the property.
The crew will start work on the eastern boundary of the campus alongside the ball field, above Highway 20; then work counter-clockwise, with the intention of completing pruning throughout the ski trail area if possible. They will bring a chipper to the project, and the plan is to chip all the woody material removed from the pines and from under their canopies. Bud Hover, MVSD Director of Operations will work with MVSD staff to supply chips to Classroom in Bloom, as requested by Kim Bondi, Executive Director of Classroom in Bloom. .
Please join us as we thank the Washington State Department of Natural Resources for their support in ensuring our schools and campus remain a safe and healthy place for our community for years to come!