Local News

Volunteers make Mountain Shadows neighborhood a little greener

Volunteers plant trees to help Waldo Canyon fire victims

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Volunteers planted more than 200 trees in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood devastated by last summer's fire.

The Waldo Canyon fire destroyed trees and homes throughout the neighborhood. Crews planted trees along Flying W Ranch Road and in resident's front yards.

Arbor Day efforts kicked off with a tree-planting ceremony in Mountain Shadows Park. Mayor Steve Bach addressed the crowded park and planted the day's first tree.

"I hope the folks up here know that means our city and people throughout the region care about them," said Bach. "We want to help, continue to help, people around here restore their lives."

Arbor Day was a family affair for the Fosters.

"We're really planting the trees because of the fire that burned them all down," said 10-year-old Ryan Foster.

He worked alongside his mom, his dad, his grandmother and his cousins.

"I can't get them out of bed for school," said Ryan's dad, Mike Foster. "But this morning, they jumped out of bed, grabbed the shovels and were ready to go."

Marilynn Welsh watched crews plant two trees in her yard. She was on vacation in Breckenridge when the fire struck.

"We were driving down I-25 and watching the fire come over [the ridge] and helicopters just dumping water," said Welsh. "I kept saying, 'Maybe that's our house, maybe they're dumping water on our house.'"

Welsh remembers the moment she saw her house still standing.

"Oh, you just cry, you just cry because you can't believe it," said Welsh.

The fire damaged some parts of her home. It wiped out the home's back landscaping. There were embers in her attic that she said remarkably didn't start a fire inside.

Neighbors had the opportunity to get trees planted in their yards. Welsh said she's capitalizing on any opportunity to help rejuvenate the neighborhood.

"It's just so incredible to live in an area where you can see so many people who still care even after a year," said Welsh. "You think, people will forget about us, but they haven't."

Welsh said it may take a long time, but this neighborhood will be green again.

The event was a joint effort between the city of Colorado Springs, the Colorado State Forest Service, Spirit of Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado Springs Together and Comcast.

Volunteers also tackled graffiti in Pueblo as part of Comcast Cares day. The group cleaned up graffiti at Runyon Lake and the surrounding trail.

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