Firewood projects bring warmth to the community

NewsCrestone, Baca Grande & Casita ParkFirewood projects bring warmth to the community
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By Eden Elderberry

The Firewood Project, led by Donovan Spitzman, continues to expand and provide firewood for residents each year. This year, thanks to the partnership of the Crestone Energy Exchange and Neighbors helping Neighbors, the project held its fourth annual Firewood Fiesta. 

The Firewood Fiesta is an event open to the community, providing chainsaw education, a potluck, and a chance to give back to the community. After Spitzman learned that Neighbors Helping Neighbors was spending $5,000 a year just to provide firewood, he devised a business plan to offset the expense. 

Some of the wood cut by the program is sold, which in turn pays for wood that is given away. In addition to that, the group was able to secure grants to provide lumber, equipment and even create jobs. The fiesta was a success with the splitting contest creating enough wood for three families in 15 minutes. 

Volunteers also spent the afternoon splitting wood with mauls, and an automatic wood splitter. Thanks to a hitch log splitter, children as young as four years old helped split wood for the cause. 

Ivan Lakish provided a detailed chainsaw education class including proper personal protective equipment (PPE), sharpening, maintenance, and more. 

The class was filmed by Crestone Radio’s Jeff Winsett who will document some of the progress the firewood project has facilitated. 

Mateo Argüello and Brutus Lopez have also been hard at work before and after the fiesta, splitting wood for the year. “We don’t want people out here scrambling for wood in adverse conditions,” Spitzman said in appreciation of the two. 

For those seeking firewood through Neighbors Helping Neighbors, applications will be open beginning November 1. 

Please feel free to reach out to NHN if you are interested in volunteering or donating to either program at

Drone photo by Lori Nagel

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