Post-Fire Conifer Recovery
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Post-Fire Conifer Recovery
October 7 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pmFree
UKIAH, Calif. – On Oct. 7, the South Ukiah Rotary Club invites community members to participate in a candlelight vigil and plaque dedication ceremony at Lion’s Park in Redwood Valley to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Redwood Complex fire.
The idea for the “memory rock” came from Mendocino County Supervisor Carre Brown at one of the first fire recovery meetings.
The idea was carried forward by retired forester and local Rotarian Bob Rogers, who said he wanted to honor the way the community came together during the fire, remember the lives lost, and remind people to be fire-safe.
“I didn’t know where to get a boulder,” said Rogers. “I thought about the Harris Quarry on the way to Willits, so I went up there and they [Northern Aggregates] offered to donate a big basalt boulder. Then Valley Paving said they’d move the boulder to Lion’s Park for us for free.”
Finally, Ukiah Trophies engraved the plaque to be embedded in the boulder at a discounted rate.
This is one of several fire-recovery projects supported by Rotarians in District 5130, which includes 47 Rotary Clubs from Petaluma in the south to Crescent City in the north.
When the fire devastated large parts of Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma and Napa counties, Rotarians immediately began partnering with local organizations to raise money to help individuals, businesses, and communities heal.
In partnership with Redwood Credit Union, North Coast Opportunities and the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, Rotarians distributed $1 million in small business recovery grants, often assisting people who were underinsured to purchase the tools and equipment they needed to get their businesses up and running again. Rotary also provided 100 general assistance grants to individuals totaling $225,000.
Rotary District 5130 Governor Barb Spangler said, “We helped contractors buy construction tools and hair dressers buy scissors and hair dryers, for example. We had 70 Rotarian volunteers vetting grant applications, so we could be good stewards of the money.”
Spangler noted that some of the funds were distributed immediately to assist in the aftermath of the fire, and some funds were held for long-term recovery projects that are just being distributed now, including assistance for people with post-traumatic stress and helping schools support students with ongoing needs who were displaced by the fire.
In addition to financing and facilitating the commemorative plaque, South Ukiah Rotary has also donated $4,500 to the Arts Council of Mendocino County to create a mural at the Redwood Valley Grange and $2,500 to support a storytelling event on Sept. 19 and Oct. 20 called, “Fire Survivor Ensemble, a Tapestry of Stories from Survivors of the Redwood Complex Fire.”
South Ukiah Rotary President Scott Hegan said, “Bob Rogers deserves a lot of credit. He really keeps projects moving.”
Rogers is already working on his next fire-recovery project: helping to reforest the valley.
The South Ukiah Rotary Club and Mendocino County Resource Conservation District have teamed up to offer low-cost seedlings local landowners affected by the Redwood Complex fire.
Rogers has been sharing his extensive forestry expertise in selecting which trees to purchase and helping to coordinate the effort.
Thanks to a $16,000 donation from the South Ukiah Rotary Club and a $10,000 donation from the Crane Family Estate, MCRCD has purchased 45,000 Douglas fir seedlings and 5,000 Ponderosa pine seedlings, to be sold for $0.25/seedling with a minimum order of 220 seedlings.
Funds collected will be used to purchase more seedlings next year.
For more information about the seedling project, contact Mary Mayeda at 707-462-3664, Extension 107.