Volunteers sought: “It takes a Village to Save Our Forest”

FALLBROOK – Trees that enhance a community such as Fallbrook don’t just happen! It takes years of hard work and dedication. Jackie Heyneman, chair of the Save Our Forest (SOF) branch of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy (FLC), knows this only too well.

Many volunteer “tree stewards” began the work of “saving our forest” over 20 years ago. Naturally, like the trees they planted, they are now beginning to age with many having to resign from active duty. That’s why a call is going out for new, energetic recruits to continue their legacy.

The urban forest concept and people-friendly community is the main reason newcomers decide to make Fallbrook their home.

The SOF’s Treescape Project now boasts around 2,650 trees planted in what is the core of Fallbrook. In the downtown area these lovely, graceful trees reduce heat and glare on major roads and buildings. Add to this effort, hundreds of trees and native bushes that have been planted over the years in Fallbrook Land Conservancy preserves. None of this would have been possible without willing volunteers.

The planting and pruning season is here and there’s a lot to be done. Heyneman said, “Volunteer stewardship is rewarding, work-saving dollars for SOF. Just a couple of hours a month with a friendly work party is a small price to pay for living in this lovely, rural environment.”

SOF’s motto of “Never Give Up” is personified by Heyneman and her team – who have succeeded in getting several grants to support their efforts. The latest goal is to acquire funding to plant trees on at least a three-mile easement segment between Old Highway 395 and Interstate 15.

“However, the most pressing goal is to stoke the fires of our volunteers with the willingness of newcomers to keep this program alive and well,” Heyneman said.

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