The El Paso County slash and mulch program is gearing up for the 2008 season.
It kicks off with a community meeting at 9 a.m. April 26 at the Black Forest Community Center, located at 12530 Black Forest Road.
All county residents are encouraged to come and learn from experts about forestry management practices, including wildfire mitigation, defensible space, chainsaw safety, noxious weeds, tree felling, insects such as mountain pine beetle, forest diseases and much more.
The El Paso County Black Forest slash and mulch season gets under way May 3.
Hours of operation for 2008 will be the following:
Saturdays, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sundays, noon-4 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Free mulch will be available beginning May 31. The slash and mulch site is located at the southeast corner of Shoup and Herring roads in the Black Forest area.
The program is a wildfire mitigation and recycling effort sponsored by El Paso County, in cooperation with the Colorado State Forest Service, the state Board of Land Commissioners and many volunteers.
The purpose of the program is to teach better forest management practices and encourage residents to clear adequate defensible space surrounding their structures by thinning trees and shrubs to reduce the spread of fire.
The return of organic material - or mulch - to the forest floor holds moisture, delays the spread of weeds and provides nutrients to the forest.
For more information, call the El Paso County Environmental Services Department at 719-520-7878 or visit www.elpasoco.com.