by Terri Wiebold
Although there is still snow on the ground in much of Castle Pines North (CPN), spring is just around the corner. And despite the record snowfalls, wildfire is still a potential hazard for communities in Douglas County this summer.
Beginning Saturday, May 26 and continuing every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through September 1, residents are encouraged to participate in Douglas County’s Slash and Mulch Program. The program is part of Douglas County’s wildfire mitigation plan, and it allows residents to take an active role in fire prevention in the community while making available a free supply of mulch for residents.
What is Slash?
Slash is ground residue left from the cutting and trimming of trees and shrubs, fallen dead trees, or limbs and needles which have fallen from trees. If not properly removed and disposed of, it is fuel for a wildfire, and there is an abundance of it in open spaces throughout CPN. Ultimately, mulch is created from the slash materials and is provided free of charge to residents in CPN.
Tree branches and shrubbery not exceeding six feet in length or 12 inches in diameter will be accepted at the Plum Creek Wastewater Authority, located at 1400 Caprice Drive in Castle Rock. All loads must be covered and tied. Items that will not be accepted include: stumps, roots, lumber, ties, grass, dirt, weeds, or household trash or appliances.
Mulching trees and shrubs is a good way to reduce landscape maintenance and keep plants healthy. Mulch helps conserve moisture loss from evaporation. Mulch helps keep the soil well aerated by reducing soil compaction that results when raindrops hit the soil. It also reduces water runoff and soil erosion, especially in those heavy snow seasons. Mulch also helps maintain a more uniform soil temperature (warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer) and it promotes the growth of soil microorganisms and earthworms.
This program is a cooperative effort sponsored by Douglas County Government, the Plum Creek Wastewater Authority, and the Town of Castle Rock. For questions or additional information, call the Douglas County Operations Division at 303-660-7480 or visit www.douglas.co.us/publicworks and click on the “Slash and Mulch” Program.