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Garden project brings green to Charlotte Fire area

A group of volunteers is working to bring new life and color to the area left charred by the Charlotte Fire.

The Charlotte Fire scorched the edges of Susan Swetnam’s lawn, but spared her home.

Throughout the area, the landscape was left blackened and scorched, but as the weeks progressed something gave Swetnam some hope.

“There’s nothing more hopeful than new flowers. When grass came up on my burned bank, and my trees I thoughtwere dead started sending out leaves it changed everything for me, and I didn’t even lose my house,” Swetnam said.

So Swetnam, along with her neighbor who did lose her home, Hannah Sanger, teamed up to help others affected by the fire get the gift of new growth.

The Charlotte’s Garden project is stockpiling seeds to help bring beauty back to the blighted landscape.

Swetnam said getting something green growing can mean an awful lot to those affected by the fire.

“Some sense that there’s a design there, that this is your place and you’re putting your signature on it. And that it’s a place that can still make life happen,” Swetnam said.

Beyond the concern of bringing some more beauty to the area, there’s the fear that without vegetation the steep hillsides are vulnerable to erosion and mudslides, so the garden project also has a utilitarian purpose.

“Obviously we have a lot of erosion control and bank stabilization and gulley stabilization and things like that to do out here, and certainly it will help with that,” Swetnam said.

Click here (in full browser view) to go to the Charlotte’sGarden website.

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