News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Project will plant thousands of trees

It will take a generation for the landscape to recover from the devastating Milli Fire that scorched over 24,000 acres in Sisters Country in the late summer of 2017. Some local youth are giving the forest a jumpstart with a plan to plant 10,000 trees in the Trout Creek area this spring.

Representatives from the Waldorf School of Bend will have a table at Sisters Coffee Co. on Saturday, December 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. where they will share information on the project and accept donations for a fundraiser for the school.

The project grew out of a sixth-grade fundraiser at the school, where students auctioned off a community effort to reduce carbon footprint by creating a “micro forest.”

Waldorf School parent Erin Hansen told The Nugget, “we ended up getting some surplus trees from the Forest Service.”

There were 500, in fact, and Hansen wasn’t sure the young students would be able to knock the work out in the time they had. But Pete Stoddard of the Sisters Ranger District found a safe and viable spot for them to work — and work they did, getting all 500 trees planted in about 2-1/2 hours.

Stoddard provided a real educational experience, Hansen said, helping the students understand why replanting is needed, how to do the planting and how to map out a grid for the project.

And an idea was planted along with the trees.

“That kind of sparked the idea of doing something larger,” Hansen said. “We decided to take it on as our annual fundraiser for the year.”

This time around, the whole school will be involved, and the scale is much larger. The target is to plant 10,000 trees on May 1-2, 2020, in the hard-hit Trout Creek drainage.

The Forest For Good project also supports the Bend school. Every $10 sponsors one tree – and a student’s labor to plant it. Donations will be accepted during the visit to Sisters Coffee this month, and through the website at The Waldorf School of Bend is an independent nonprofit school that operates without federal or state funding. Fundraising augments operating expenses, which are only 85 percent covered by tuition and fees.

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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