Contributed Photo/Courtesy EAC: Members of the Fort Grant Fire Crew pose for a picture after clearing some brush.
By Paul Anger
THATCHER — EAC’s Discovery Park Campus benefited from the hard work of the Fort Grant Wildland Fire Crew as they honed their skills on a large-scale service project in continued preparation for the wildland fire season.
Under the direction of fire crew supervisors, Jeremy Rios, David Larson, and State Forestry Coordinator Jacob Pace, the Fort Grant Wildland Fire Crew worked on several areas on the campus, including clearing an important drainage ditch of debris and vegetation to ensure vital rainwater runoff for the Discovery Park Pond and Riparian Area. The crew also cleared both sides of the main road and along several of the “Nature’s Hide-Away” walking and jogging trails, laddering-up overgrown mesquite trees to keep branches off the ground and creating opportunities for shade. Crews also completed fuel reduction in several areas around the campus to remove excessive dead vegetation that could potentially fuel a wildland fire. Specially trained chainsaw operators removed several large hanging branches known as deadfalls and dead trees that posed a safety hazard on the banks of the DPC Pond. Their work will promote healthy and attractive new growth for shade, and facilitate safe access for the twice-weekly school field trips, birdwatchers, hikers, and families looking for the perfect setting for pictures.
The Fort Grant Wildland Fire Crew members take pride in their work; when finished, all worksites were cleared, raked and the removed vegetation was piled up for easy disposal. While at Discovery Park, crews cleared several sites used for the Boy Scouts of America’s Fall STEM Camporee. Crews also cleaned up the “Boot Hill” style historical graveyard just below the DPC Greenhouse and added new information to the “headstones.”
“It’s an absolute pleasure to have these young men come to our campus,” said EAC Discovery Park Campus Director Paul Anger. “Besides protecting us from wildfires and other natural threats, they are eager to improve and make a difference in our community. They worked hard in the sun and dirt to beautify and make the campus safe for everyone, and I really hope the community will come out and see what they have accomplished so everyone can enjoy the facilities.”
For more information about the EAC Discovery Park Campus call (928) 428-6260 or visit our website at www.eac.edu/discoverypark/.