Articles,  Fire Mitigation Events,  Mitigation

Saws & Slaws March News

Getting ready for a full season!! by Jody Dickson
I cannot believe it is already March which means our season of events is only a couple months away! We are busy getting our events scheduled and finalized, so we can deliver on a season full of improving forest health, improving our resilience through a wildfire event, and building our amazing community. We can all make this place a better and safer place to be and enjoy ourselves while we do it! I also enjoy the sense of accomplishment at the end of every Saws & Slaws events. It is absolutely something to celebrate every time, even when things don’t always go to plan!
We have a few spots left in the season, so if you are interested in hosting an event just reach out to us using the application available on our website or email us at or call us at (720) 326-7739. As a reminder, the application process is a process… we are just trying to evaluate where homeowners are in the process and where we can be the most help. Don’t feel like you have to be 100% ready before we have a conversation about the opportunity!
We are also planning our Chainsaw Skills & Safety course which will likely happen in April or May. This course (or its equivalent) is required if you want to be a sawyer at one of our events, but even if you just want to take it for personal use it is well worth the time. We’ve had very experience sawyers come out of the class saying that they still learned a lot! If you are interested in taking this course, please contact us at We’ll keep you updated as dates get finalized.
Featured Volunteer – Nancy Gerecht
This month we are featuring Nancy Gerecht who has been volunteering with Saws & Slaws since 2014 and has OVER 128 hours of service at Saws & Slaws. She is not afraid of working in the cold weather! When I was looking for a picture of her for this feature, most of the ones I found were of her hard at work over the splitter in snow!! We are grateful for dedicated and diligent work!

What’s your favorite Tree? My favorite trees are the aspens. I love them for the shade that they provide, the white bark and of course the colors in the fall.

What neighborhood do you live in? Coal Creek Heights is where I live, but I consider all of this canyon my neighborhood.

If you had to evacuate right now what would you grab? I would grab our cat, Spooky. Spooky came to us as a stray, but he is such a love bug despite not being a lap cat.

How did you find out about Saws & Slaws? The Mountain Messenger is how I first heard of S&S. My high school son Jake was looking for volunteer opportunities. The potluck lunch lured him easily.

What motivates you to devote your time to fire mitigation with Saws & Slaws? The sense of community was key. What better way to meet people than working in the woods? We got to see other areas of the canyon too.

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten at the Potluck? . I think Jake’s favorite at the potlucks were the pulled pork sandwiches and all desserts. My favorite was any homemade salad whether that was potato or macaroni.

What’s your favorite thing about Coal Creek Canyon? Coal Creek Canyon is home for us. I love the wildlife and the storms. The temp inversions are fun when I can tell my town friends how “warm” it is up here. Also the sea of clouds is fascinating. The flood of ’13 brought an outpouring of love and caring. We were all in this together. I was overjoyed when hwy 72 reopened. Oh and who could forget the 7 feet of snow in ’03? Again community is what I treasure.

Thank you, Nancy!
Upcoming Events:



***Copperdale and Camp Eden neighbors***
You should have received an email from us, but to continue the conversation we started in November we have two virtual events scheduled for March.
Thursday, March 8th – 7:00 pm – Coal Creek Canyon Fire Department will talk about the roles and responsibilities of the fire department, how fire response and evacuations work and some of the strengths and challenges of CCCFPD.
Thursday, March 31st – 4:00 pm – Boulder Valley Conservation District will talk about forest and wildfire ecology, including the specific forest types in our neighborhoods, how fire is part of the ecology, how the forests have changed, and why forestry is one tool for mitigating increasing wildfire risk.
Both of these sessions are in response to questions that came up in our November session. Check your email for more information. We will record the sessions if you are not able to attend, but there will be opportunities for Q&A in both so it’ll be best to attend the live event!
If you live in this area but weren’t able to attend the November event, it isn’t too late to be part of this effort. Contact Jody Dickson,, or Chris Reichard, 303-642-3433 or Maya MacHamer to join us.
Safety Tip of the Month: Make a non-combustible perimeter around your structures. Ideally for the 3-5 ft next to your home make sure that there is nothing that could burn. At the very least remove the plants that grow there are the leaves and pine needles that blow into that area. To help with ongoing maintenance, you can put a fabric cover and/or lots of rocks to prevent new plants from growing there. As extra protection, you can put metal flashing against the house to help prevent accumulating embers from starting a structure fire. If you have a deck be sure to include around the footings and any area that would be under an upper level of the deck. As noted, it is important to keep up with keeping the area clear from combustibles, but it is an important step to keeping your structures safer!
Saws and Slaws is a 501(c)3 organization committed to Building Stronger Communities Through A Healthier Forest. Find out more at and Join Us!