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International News | December 1, 2020

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A Tree Grows in Hayman

A Tree Grows in Hayman

On April 27, 2013, ICB Economics students Jialin Cheng, Qiaoyue Liang, and Jiexin Yue took part in a tree-planting volunteer service activity in the Hayman burn area in the Front Range mountains southwest of Denver. University of Colorado Denver Honors and Leadership (UHL) program sponsored the planting, which turned out 36 students along with two parents and two supervisors.

The event, carried out under the direction of the Coalition for the Upper South Platte, a group dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the upper South Platte River watershed, followed a UHL fundraising activity in the fall, where students raised monies to purchase seedlings that would be planted in the spring.

All told, the group planted 305 small trees on a steep mountainside. Of which, our three ICB hardhats planted more than 30. “The trick to doing this well is to know the right shovel angle,” remarked one ICB student. A byproduct, perhaps, of the mastery of lines and curves that comes from studying economics!

The Hayman fire in June, 2002, remains the largest wildfire in Colorado´s recorded history, scorching 138,000+ acres and destroying 133 homes. After an aerial tour of the blaze, the then-Governor Owens remarked that it looked like all of Colorado was burning.

Eleven years later, though, on a clear and hot spring day on the mountainside, it looked like all of the participating CU Denver students were burning with enthusiasm to give new life to Ponderosa Pines and Douglas Firs, which, students were told, would take 1,000 years for the forest to regenerate on its own. Kudos to Jialin, Qiaoyue, and Jiexin for sharing their Saturday to lend a hand in restoring one of our Colorado forests.


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