Partnership between Gold Country Community Services and Ready Nevada County Aids Seniors in Need of Firewood and Homeowners Clearing Trees for Defensible Space
The County of Nevada Board of Supervisors approves the Office of Emergency Services and Gold Country Community Services (GCCS) collaboration to support seniors in need of firewood and assist homeowners with tree removal. GCCS’ Senior Wood Program has been providing seniors with firewood for over 40 years and currently supplies 160 qualified residents, many of whom are homebound and have access and functional needs in Nevada County. The program is run by volunteers who pick up downed trees from homes then cut, split and deliver wood throughout the year.
The County of Nevada Office of Emergency Services has advocated for homeowners to implement defensible space clearing via the Ready Nevada County initiative and is impressed with the community response. Dead tree removal is an important and often expensive aspect of maintaining defensible space. To further support both the tree clearing and the Senior Wood delivery program, the Board of Supervisors approved a donation of critical equipment such as chainsaws, wheelbarrows, gloves, tarps, and fuel containers for GCCS.
“We are exploring new and innovative ways to reduce the threat of wildfire to vulnerable populations like the elderly. These programs help make homes more resilient to wildfire through effective mitigation measures like defensible space clearing. It makes perfect sense that we support community partners like GCCS,” says County of Nevada General Services Director, Steve Monaghan. “We are also working to share valuable information with their ‘Meals on Wheels’ clients who need specific consideration for emergency preparedness.”
“The demand for this program continues to exceed the current resources. This includes both seniors who need firewood as well as homeowners requesting assistance with tree removal because they cannot afford to clear trees themselves. The impact of the support received with the donated equipment by the County helps ensure we can continue to provide this service to seniors in need in our community,” adds GCCS Executive Director, Janeth Marroletti.
Support from local businesses also helped. “The Office of Emergency Services is very appreciative of the assistance that SPD Saw Shop and A to Z Supply have provided through their generous discount. Wildfire prevention is a community-wide effort and we extend our sincere gratitude for their support of the Senior Wood Program.” notes Captain Jeff Pettitt of Office of Emergency Services who joined OES Administrative Analyst, Jenn Tamo, to help with delivery and discuss ongoing strategy with Marroletti and volunteers today.
The Senior Firewood Program started in 1979 by Gold Country Community Services and a group of dedicated volunteers to address that many seniors do not have enough firewood to heat their homes during the winter months. It is a vital program for low income and isolated seniors living in rural Nevada County.
“We operate year-round and the demand for our services continues to exceed our current resources with more seniors needing firewood. We have 20 seniors on the waiting list and have a 9-month waiting list for tree removal,” adds Marroletti.
Individuals can make an impact to the program by donating or volunteering at the following website: www.goldcountryservices.org or contacting (530) 615-4541.
Gold Country Community Services
GCCS’ mission is to provide essential programs that meet the basic needs of seniors living in Western Nevada County. GCCS ensures older adults have nutritional meals, warm homes, social interaction and a greater sense of security.
Ready Nevada County
Ready Nevada County is a multifaceted effort coordinated by the County of Nevada to raise awareness and mobilize the community to prevent and prepare for wildfire. Community members are encouraged to look for the logo for the latest on Nevada County’s wildfire readiness through increased planning, strategic partnerships, improved communication, and ongoing public engagement. Learn more at ReadyNevadaCounty.org.