HELENA — The Prickly Pear Land Trust has partnered with the Rocky Mountain Development Council (RMDC) to provide a resource to the community.
Different generations of tree-cutting tools have gathered at Tenmile Creek Park for a day of chopping wood to bring warmth to the community.
“This is a community partnership between a lot of different entities to provide free firewood to low income folks or people who have disabilities that make it difficult for them to get firewood," says John Beaver, Prickly Pear Land Trust Board President and Church Leader at St. Paul United Methodist Church.
This project was brought on by the Prickly Pear Land Trust in coordination with the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) through RMDC, which assists low income households meet expenses of keeping warm during cold months. One volunteer understands the situation. He himself, heats his home with wood and is happy to give this needed resource to the community.
"Getting it out is the hardest part,” says Nathan Emer, a volunteer. “Now that Prickly Pear and LIEAP brought it here, getting it done right in town will make it a lot easier for folks to just come pick it up.”
Prickly Pear considers the first day to be a pilot program and hopes to prepare more wood in the future to warm more homes. 20 volunteers from local businesses and churches split about 40 cubic yards of donated wood in about three hours.
"This is why I got into ministry, being able to do this kind of work and helping other people out, working together and partnering with other resources in town and other organizations. It's great to work together," says Sami Pack-Toner, a volunteer and an Associate Pastor at Helena United Methodist Ministries.
To learn more about LIEAP and obtaining wood through the Rocky Mountain Development Council, click here.
You may also contact Prickly Pear Land Trust or Helena United Methodist Ministries to learn more at:
Prickly Pear Land Trust: (406) 442-0490
Helena United Methodist Ministries: firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-442-5643