Youth outreach – service projects

FOSM recently partnered with Troop 9 of the Boy Scouts of America to buck, split, and haul fire wood for donation to the Mountain Christian Church Wood Ministry.

FOSM continues to support the partnership between the Forest Service and Talking Talons Youth Leadership/Youth Conservation Corps (TTYL/YCC) whose goal is building “… a collaborative, cohesive and multi-disciplinary continuum of mentorship and support for local youth who are passionate about tackling climate change and pursuing conservation work, including: job and life skills training; youth development resources; leadership opportunities; climate change education; and social action projects.”

September 10, 2022 – Boy Scout Troop 9 and Other Youth Help FOSM Split Firewood

Four FOSM volunteers, six Boy Scouts from Troop 9, four other youths, and six parents worked on a project in lower Capulin Picnic Area to buck, split, and haul fire wood for donation to the Mountain Christian Church Wood Ministry. One of the parents, Chris Weil, was Lou’s contact with the Scout Troop. At 9 am all the participants signed the JHA form in the picnic area parking lot, and hard hats were handed out. The group then moved down to the area near the restroom.

The FOSM members were Sam Beard, Jerry Carroll, Michael Arndt, and Lou Romero. Lou managed the project, Jerry and Michael bucked down trees, and Sam organized the movement of the rounds from the field to the splitter. All ten youths rolled or carried rounds to the splitter where the parents helped with the splitting and loading Chris Weil’s large dump trailer.

The project bucking and splitting began at the restroom level. Most of the two down trees above the road had disappeared, but several rounds were bucked and taken to the splitter. Jerry then bucked the tall fir that he felled a few weeks earlier, and all these rounds were moved, split, and loaded. The trailer was not full; therefore, the splitter was moved up the road to a location just below the gate. Jerry and Michael bucked two logs below the road, and the youths moved the rounds up to the road where they were split and loaded on the trailer. The full trailer contained 1.5 cords of split wood.

Lou led the truck and trailer and the youths and parents to the Mountain Christian Church woodlot to watch the trailer dump the load of wood. The group concluded the project by forming a circle and reciting the Boy Scout Law.

Project co-leaders, Lou and Sam, were very satisfied with the accomplishments and the overall success of the project. All ten youths eagerly participated in moving the rounds to the splitter and in loading the trailer.

September 24-25, 2021 – Talking Talons Youth Leadership/Youth Conservation Corps Assists FOSM in Graffiti Removal at CCC Water System Canyon

In the 1930s, the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) constructed Juan Tabo Picnic Area and included an extensive water system. They constructed a large concrete cistern about 100 feet east of La Luz Trailhead parking lot with buried galvanized pipes connecting it to the water source up the canyon about 1/5 mile. The water source was a dam reservoir located just above an eleven-foot waterfall. The reservoir behind the dam is now filled with silt. Recently the Sandia Ranger District (SRD) found graffiti at two locations in the canyon and requested that FOSM remove them. The TTYL/YCC (Talking Talons) crew worked with FOSM on Friday and Saturday, and their project for these days was removal of this graffiti.

The graffiti removal chemical is applied three times with a waiting period of 3 minutes between the applications to give time for the chemical to dissolve the paint. Frequently, it helps to scrub the wet area with brushes with plastic bristles to improve the removal of the paint. After the paint is dissolved, the chemical and paint mixture is removed by applying water with a brush or the FOSM battery-powered low-pressure washer. Usually, it is not possible to remove all the graffiti; therefore, some color remains on the stone as you will see in the photographs below. A few gallons of the chemical and water were carried by the volunteers from the parking lot to the site of the graffiti.

FOSM members working on this project were Jerry Pekarek and Sam Beard. Talking Talons crew members were Seth Castillo, Rios Fernandez, Orion Francis, Blake Dimon, and Caleb Castillo.

September 22, 2021 – Talking Talons Youth Leadership/Youth Conservation Corps Assists FOSM in Clearing Brush at Capulin Snow Play Area

Talking Talons member
Seth Castillo mowing snow play area

FOSM volunteers and Talking Talons Youth Leadership/Youth Conservation Corps (TTYL/YCC) crew members mowed the Capulin Snow Play Area (SPA) sledding slopes and completed cutting brush in the parking lot traffic island. Manny Chavez, Sandia Ranger District Maintenance Supervisor, hauled the large self-propelled mowing machines to Capulin SPA and taught the TTYL/YCC crew members how to safely operate them. Manny and the crew members mowed the old and new sledding slopes.

The TTYL/YCC crew members were Seth Castillo, Caleb Castilla, Skyler Mund, and Blaze Dimon. FOSM members were Cliff Giles, Sam Beard, Steve Roholt, Jerry Carroll, and Eric Russell.