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With homesites cleared, residents and volunteers find hope in replanting

As the Debris Management Task Force (DMTF) crosses the halfway mark in restoring fire-destroyed homesites, groups across the state are mobilizing to help residents replant their landscapes as they rebuild their homes.

Landscaping with Love (LWL), is a grassroots community group working to get Echo Mountain fire survivors’ yards replanted. One LWL volunteer is Adrienne DuRette (pictured). An Otis area resident since she was a child, DuRette lost her home and her dogs in last year’s fire but is committed to the community mantra #OtisStrong. In addition to volunteering her time, she is providing storage space for the coming-soon LWL greenhouse, which will be stocked with the donated plants and equipment.

Also working in the Echo Mountain area is the Promise Tree Project – a joint effort among the Oregon State Federation of Garden Clubs, Oregon Association of Nurseries, Keep Oregon Green and the Oregon Office of the Fire Marshall to provide replacement trees to victims of Oregon’s 2020 wildfires.

The Promise Tree Project provides $50 vouchers for homeowners impacted by the fires to purchase fire-resistant scrubs and trees. The vouchers can be redeemed at any participating Oregon Association of Nurseries business. To date, the North Side Garden Club has raised enough money to fund about 300 vouchers for affected homeowners in Lincoln County. Lincoln County was prioritized because they are the first fire area to have shovel-ready homes, but Promise Tree organizers say the program will extend through 2023 and extend statewide.

In addition to the vouchers, the Promise Tree Project provides defensible space information to help homeowners understand the best places to plant their replacement trees or shrubs related to structures on their property.

Down in Lane County, helping donate and coordinate tree giving and replanting statewide is the Valor Family Farms. The family-run nursery in Springfield has donated thousands of native trees through nonprofits and community groups, including LWL, in fire areas throughout the state. Their Facebook page shares donation events and volunteer opportunities regularly.

If you are a fire survivor and need help replanting your yard or are able to donate or volunteer with planning or planting, please reach out through any of the links above. Echo Mountain fire survivors can also stop by the Otis Grange in person for direct assistance or volunteer information.

Arbor Day tree event this weekend: City of Newport Arbor Day Tree Giveaway. Free Western Red Cedar seedlings for the first 100 people to stop or drive by this Saturday, May 1, 2021.



Wildfire waste and debris removal

The State of Oregon is working with federal, state and local partners to remove hazardous waste, and ash and debris from the 2020 Oregon wildfires safely, efficiently, and as quickly as possible. The Oregon Departments of Transportation, Environmental Quality and Emergency Management are leading the effort, with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency assistance.

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