John Deere is hosting contest to aid community recovery

John Deere is hosting its 2nd annual community support contest which awards construction equipment to a resident of a community that works with a community organization dedicated to disaster recovery. This year, Neil Behnke, who lives with his family in the Black Forest, has been selected as one of three contest finalists. He is collaborating with Black Forest Together to help the community recover for the catastrophic fire of 2013. He is requesting a skid steer with attachments that will assist in both removing burned trees and transplanting trees for reforestation and wildlife habitat restoration.  Watch contest video below.

The contest will be hosted on John Deere is allowing viewers to vote for one of the three finalists and their community recovery efforts. Videos of the three community recovery projects will be posted on the web site. Participants will be allowed to vote once, daily, from their email address from 4-24 June. Participants may vote from multiple email addresses if they have them. Voting constitutes a significant factor in determining the winning contestant and community. The contest may not be posted on John Deer’s web site until early June.

The residents of Southern Colorado are encouraged to participate and vote for Neil and Black Forest Together. Encourage friends, family and work colleagues to vote as well.  Winning the contest will significantly help in the recovery of the Black Forest.


Friday, September 21st, 2018:
Black Forest Together’s 2nd Annual Fund Raiser – BBQ Dinner, Auction & Musical Entertainment featuring Hank Cramer, an American Folk Singer from the Northwest. Mark your calendar and invite family and friends to join “Fun(d) in the Forest” !!!! Last year’s event raised $20,000 which allowed us to receive state matching funds of $40,000 for the purchase of the skid steer and tree spade for our Trees 4 Tomorrow (T4T) Program.

June 10th, 2018
5th Year Ceremony of Remembrance of June 11th, 2013 Black Forest Fire – County Commissioner and representatives from the Colorado State Forest Service and Black Forest Together will be Key Note Speakers at a commemorative ceremony for the 5th year anniversary of the 2013 Black Forest Fire. Recovery accomplishments and future plans will be presented to the community. Please plan on attending.

Black Forest Together is proud to announce the commencement of its TREES 4 TOMORROW (T4T) PROGRAM. T4T Program is a reforestation initiative dedicated to transplanting trees from ‘donor’ properties of the Black Forest to private properties in the burn scar. Trees are available to both those who suffered from the fire as well as other property owners interested in purchasing trees at discount prices. You are encouraged to visit for pricing information. Reforestation has been added to Black Forest Together’s mantra of Recover, Rebuild, Restore. T4T Program also moves trees for property owners.

Seedling Planting Guide

Sponsored by

Want to Volunteer? Volunteer Groups Needed for Summer Wood Chipping projects

Is your group looking ahead for spring/summer projects? There is still much outdoor work to be done, cleaning up from the fire! We can use all ages and stages of workers, and we find that a group of 8-12 workers is ideal. Please contact the Resource Center for more details on how to help. (

Current volunteer openings include Office Volunteer, Grant Researcher, Grant Writer.

Do you Need More Information on Noxious Weeds?

For more information on the identification and treatment of noxious weeds, follow this link to access the El Paso Noxious Weeds online booklet. If you have additional questions, contact information is available on their website.

Also, below is a link on how to calibrate spray equipment and calculate the correct amount of chemical to use.

Calibration and Chemical Application Article

Seedling Planting Guidebook

For those who received seedling from our giveaway, here is a link to a guidebook to help you plant and successfully grow those seedlings Nursery-Planting-guide2015

Resource Center Volunteer Staff hours are 9-1 Monday through Friday. No appointment is necessary, but a call to confirm that we are open would be wise. If you need an appointment outside of office hours, call 495-2445 during office hours and we will do our best to accommodate you.”

 Read the 2017 Black Forest Together Annual Report

To access the report, click here

Donate To Black Forest Together Click here to use PayPal to Donate. You do not need a PayPal account.