Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of California
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

UC staff led effort to support youth and families during fire emergency

Late in August, the Helena Fire closed six schools in Trinity County and forced 2,000 people out of their homes. Ultimately, 70 houses were destroyed and Gov. Brown issued a state of emergency in the mountain community.

In the midst of the tragedy, UC Cooperative Extension nutrition education specialist Margarita Alvord and program supervisor Janessa Hartmann quickly developed a plan to serve the children they couldn't reach during the school closures and organized activities to support local families. Alvord brought together several organizations, including Human Response Network, First 5 Trinity County, and Weaverville Parks and Recreation District to address the needs of the fire-stricken community.

UC ANR staff member Margarita Alvord leads a yoga class for Trinity County youth.

The agencies developed a plan to provide youth activities, including physical activity, nutrition education, arts and crafts, and games. They served healthy lunches and provided three days of programming at the Local Assistance Center in Weaverville. 

"We received significant positive feedback from parents, teachers and community members, showing Trinity County's strength, resilience and solidarity," Hartmann said. "The staff at UCCE Trinity County seized the opportunity to ensure the students, families, and community displaced during the fires were offered opportunities to learn and have fun in a safe place."

A child works on her "thank you" poster for firefighters at a community activity event coordinated by UC Cooperative Extension in response to the Helena Fire in Trinity County.
Posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 2:25 PM

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