The Crestone Eagle • December, 2021

Community Firewood Program hosted woodsplitting contest & potluck for a great cause

by Donovan Spitzman

Here we are in season two of our newly formed Community Firewood Program. The program is sponsored by the Crestone Energy Exchange and this project is a partnership between Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN), Crestone Energy Fair and the Emergency Firewood Project. The purpose is to help provide firewood for our community members in financial or physical crisis.  We have also secured additional bulk wood that will be for sale beginning next summer.  

On November 14 we gathered as a community to begin splitting the emergency portion of the inventory. Similar to last year’s event, we hosted education on chainsaw usage, wood splitting basics and how to heat your home with wood. Thank you to Ivan Lakish and Kizzen Laki for coming in as guest instructors. We also held a pot-luck style cookout with music and the incredibly entertaining wood splitting contests. Congratulations to Tom Lyle & John for winning the contest and Brett & Seth Buchanan for coming in a close second. It was a beautiful day inspiring each other, having fun and connecting with neighbors.

How did this program come into existence, you ask? NHN has been investing a significant amount of money annually to support our community’s emergency needs for firewood and other winter survival necessities. After discovering that this investment was well into the thousands of dollars annually, we did a few cash-flow projections. Our projections showed that we could provide the same emergency resources while creating local jobs and eliminating the need for the annual investment from NHN. We have now made one investment into bulk inventory that creates jobs, and a financial return that covers the cost of the emergency wood and replaces the inventory for next year’s program. Yes, you read that correctly: we have taken one year of investment capital from NHN, and some grant funds from Saguache County Tax Grant, to provide an ongoing inventory of firewood for our community by our community. This allows NHN to redirect thousands of dollars each year into other important programs.  

We’ll be looking for 25-30 residents that need 3-5 cords of wood for the 2022-2023 winter season. Our projected price is $250 per cord (spruce and fir).  This purchase enables us to fully fund this program for the future. If you would like to see the cash-flow projections, just ask, we will happily make that information available to you.  This program is not designed for profit. It is designed to provide jobs and resources for our community . . . and yes, there will be work-trades available. Thank you for your support, everyone.

Below is a list of folks who came out last month to help buck the logs in preparation for splitting. Buy em’ a beer or give em’ a hug . . . a high five or whatever you’d like . . . just say thanks. They crushed it! They bucked 25-30 cords of wood in 3 days! Rockstars! In no particular order . . . William Cody, Bruce Becker, Jason Irwin, Skip Patterson, Paul Grice, JR and Sandra Edwards, Dave Jacuk, Tommy Lyle, Taylor Shelton, Jeff Winsett, Tony Cannata, Brian Vermont, Kory Mosher & Eric Maki.  

For more information please visit our website, crestoneenergyexchange.org