The Colorado State Forest Service earlier this month worked with carpentry students to raise an old-fashioned, handcrafted timber frame for a new shelter at Colorado State University’s Borden Memorial Forest. When complete, the new structure will be used for environmental education classes and other groups at the property west of Fort Collins.
The shelter frame beams and components were constructed from local wood and by hand through a workshop offered by Rocky Mountain Workshops, where participants learn to utilize traditional mortise-and-tenon pegged joinery in square-rule timber framing. The workshops are held at the CSU Mountain Campus.
Science Care, an organization that facilitates body donations for global medical research, contributed funding for the shelter to help enhance environmental education efforts.
Melinda Ellsworth, vice president of donor services for Science Care, said the organization’s support “represents our commitment to environmental stewardship and education for Colorado residents and visitors, today and for generations to come.”
The Borden Memorial Forest is a 70-acre private forest and certified tree farm west of Fort Collins. Used as a living classroom for students of all ages, the forest was donated to CSU by Tom Borden – the state forester for Colorado for a record 25 years – who passed away in 2009.
The CSFS Fort Collins District manages the forest on the property, which in recent years has faced a mountain pine beetle epidemic and the devastating 2012 High Park Fire. The property remains vigorous and resilient due to ongoing forest stewardship.
In addition to adding the new structure, future funding from Science Care will also help CSFS foresters and volunteers ultimately construct an interpretive trail at the memorial forest.
“Tom Borden always wanted to see this property used for education and research,” said Mike Hughes, assistant district forester for the Fort Collins District. “The timber frame building at the Borden Memorial Forest will be an important step to increased use of the woodland, and could not happen without the generous contributions from Science Care.”
The Colorado State Forest Service provides technical forestry assistance, wildfire mitigation expertise and outreach and education to help landowners and communities achieve their forest management goals. The CSFS is a service and outreach agency of the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University and provides staffing for the Division of Forestry within the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.