Reservists committed to restoring local landmark's glory

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. David Findish
  • 310th Operations Support Squadron
Air Force Reservists recently took time off from flying satellites and got down to grass roots to help a local community landmark restore its former glory. Members of the 310th Operations Support Squadron stepped up to the challenge of helping the fire destroyed Flying W Ranch re-seed and mulch a large portion of its land May 9, 2014.

The Flying W Ranch, along with 346 homes, was destroyed during the Colorado Springs Waldo Canyon fire June 26, 2012. The fire claims to be Colorado's most destructive wildfire. Almost two years later, the Flying W not only struggles to rebuild, but must mitigate the effects of erosion caused by the destruction of the vegetation from the fire.

"I took my family to the Flying W Ranch several times before the tragedy of the Waldo Canyon Fire and it is important to bring back this treasure for everyone to share," said Lt. Col. Daniel Loving, 310th OSS.

310th OSS members were joined by other members of the local community and the entire sophomore class from Pueblo High School. Together they filled and hoisted hundreds of five-gallon buckets full of mulch and seed up a steep hill to be spread over the damaged landscape. The mulch will have an immediate effect in slowing the rainwater for ground-absorption while providing protection for the grass seeds to take root as the fire-scarred land is rehabilitated over time. Last year's flash flooding brought additional devastation to the burn scars and the surrounding communities, and the re-seeding will help counter the damaging effects of flash flooding and post-fire soil erosion.

The Flying W Ranch has been a beloved local venue since 1953. It's an actual working mountain cattle ranch located in the foothills of Colorado Springs, Colorado. It's home to an almost forgotten way of life; a cattle herd, old-school western music and a Western Stage Show with outdoor BBQ.

"The 310th OSS is blessed to be a part of a great movement to restore the Flying W Ranch to its former glory," said Senior Airman Jeffrey Heredia, 310th OSS.