The destruction left in the wake of the Almeda Fire impacted every part of Phoenix: the people, homes, businesses, animals, plants, and the land itself. 

Nearly seven months after the fire, several groups are volunteering on April 15, 2021 to replant Blue Heron Park.

“The City of Phoenix has purchased some of the new plants and trees, and others were donated by Shooting Star Nursery,” said Sharon Schmidt, President of Phoenix Bee City USA, and Founder and President of Cascade Girl.

Volunteers should meet at 11 a.m. on April 15th at Blue Heron Park to help dig and plant. Their goal is to have everything planted on Thursday but it may go over into Friday if necessary.

“We are inviting the public to come, and bring a shovel!” she said.

The project was organized by several groups, including the City of Phoenix, Bee City USA, Cascade Girl Organization, biodynamics expert Gerlinde Smith, and the Southern Oregon Landscapers Association (SOLA).

There was also a core group of volunteers who made the event possible: Gary Krause of Gary Krause Landscaping, Cody Scoggins of the Medford Water Commission, Julie Smitherman from SOLA and the Medford Water Commission, Annie Drager of Phoenix Bee City, Gerlinde Smith with Talent Bee City, and Jeanine Sturm with This Season’s Colors.

Schmidt said this replanting project is special because it will employ biodynamic principles. 

“Biodynamics is an important approach because it heals the land. The idea is that you use the forces inherent in the earth to heal the land and create beautiful healthy plants,” she explained.

Schmidt also reflected on the fire, noting that with such an intense burn, everything was gone. But she said there are signs of hope.

“We’re seeing evidence plants are returning and it’s encouraging,” she said. “After this horrible burn, the land can be regenerated and we can bring a feeling of life back to the area.”

The Details

For anyone who would like to volunteer, the replanting will be at:

Thursday, April 15th at 11 a.m.

Blue Heron Park, Phoenix

Photo Credit: Sharon Schmidt