LA JUNTA, Colo. – The Bent’s Old Fort and Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Sites’ annual Firewise education event took place on Saturday, March 11. With assistance from Boy Scout Troop 113 from Centennial, Colo., park staff hauled pre-cut trees to a nearby road for splitting as a part of the site’s firewood collection project.
There were about 40 volunteers, including 28 scout members, working together to reduce the fuel build-up around the historic site and protect the value of the surrounding viewshed.
During the day, the troop worked to earn its Citizenship in the Community merit badge by moving the dead wood away from the trunks of the cottonwood trees to help protect them from future wildfires.
The scouts also learned how to take steps to make a home “Firewise” by addressing the home ignition zone — limiting the amount of flammable vegetation and materials surrounding a home or structure.
After earning their service badge, the scouts were given a tour of Bent’s Old Fort and learned about the fort’s history.
That evening they were able to enjoy a Koshare Dancers performance and spend the night at the Koshare Indian Kiva in La Junta.
The Koshare Indian Dancers are Explorers from Troop 232 of La Junta.
The event follows news on March 2 that Bent’s Old Fort and Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Sites became the first locations in Colorado to attain recognition as pilot Firewise Education Sites.