OAKHURST – Over the last two weeks, staff and volunteers at Calvin Crest Camp Conference & Retreat Center have participated in planting more than 21,000 trees in the severely burned areas of the camp’s property, located about eight miles north of Oakhurst off Road 632 (Sky Ranch Road).
In 2017, more than 200 of the camp’s 340 acres burned in the Railroad Fire that started on Aug. 29, 2017, and ravaged more than 12,000 acres, forcing the evacuation of the camp.
With the partnership of BioStewards, Inc, which specializes in forest stewardship, restoration projects, and post-wildfire rehabilitation in the Sierra Nevada, the camp has been clearing and logging burn areas.
The first phase of work was completed with the planting of 220 trees per acre, including five different species: cedar, sugar pine, ponderosa pine, white fir, and more than 100 sequoias.
“This work is so important because beauty comes out of ashes,” said Tom Hobby, BioStewards President, who is the fourth generation of his family to love and serve Calvin Crest.
“We are partnering with God by birthing and restoring the beauty that was destroyed and damaged. We are co-creating with Him for the good of future generations.”
There is still much work to be done, and Calvin Crest is hoping to begin Phase 2 soon to continue to clear brush and protect the camp from any future fires.
“This land has been a sacred space to tens of thousands of people over the past 65 years, and we want to steward it well so that it will continue to serve many generations to come,” said Tiffany Staman, Executive Director of Calvin Crest.
“We are not focusing on what we have lost, but on the new life we see promising hope for the future.”