InciWeb: The Hopi Camp Crew Gives Back to Mimbres Valley Children’s Garden

Incident: Silver Fire Wildfire
june 30, 2013

The Hopi Camp Crew Gives Back to Mimbres Valley Children’s Garden

The Hopi Agency Camp Crew of Arizona was recently dispatched to the New Mexico Incident Management Team to work the Silver Fire.The fire broke out June 7, 2013 when lightning hit in the Gila National Forest. The Hopi Camp Crew of 11 cared for the incident command post in San Lorenzo and its 728 personnel who camped there while fighting the fire. The command post was established at the San Lorenzo Elementary School.

Crew Boss Arley Woodty said it was ‘the best assignment yet’, because during down time, the Hopi Crew also completed a service project for the youth and community.

The school is home to the Mimbres Valley Community Nature Garden. School Custodian Linda Jones has been watering the vegetables during summer break and needed help expanding plots for a new crop of sweet potatoes.

““Our students started a pollinator garden and grow their own food and learn the importance of agriculture to this valley that began 1,000 years ago with the Native Americans, continued with the homesteaders, and organic farms today,” Jones said.”

Thanks to the Hopi crew, the school has three new raised garden beds that are decorated in traditional Hopi symbols – Butterflies, Bears, Corn, Eagles, and Horses.

““We are artists back home; we all do arts and crafts, making baskets, dolls and jewelry, but we hardly ever get to do things for kids. We like it,”” Woodty said.

Each member of the crew, even the bus driver, took part in painting. They hope the youth appreciate the meaning of the art as it relates to agriculture, snow, water, and prayer.

Jones saw the work and started showing it off. “”I had no idea of the talent of this crew.””

She called the school’s volunteer archaeologist, Marilyn Markel. When Markel saw the garden work, she brought the school’’s historic mascot (of sorts), a wooden rabbit named Conejo Mimbreño.  ““We teach the kids about the history of the valley through the rabbit visits,”” she explained.

The next lesson will focus on the locations where the firefighters were stationed and how their work, and the New Mexico Incident Management Team, helped protect Mimbres Valley resources.

During down time in fire camp, it is common for firefighters to assist the communities that host them in service projects. Facilities used by crews are always left looking better than when the emergency trucks rolled into town.

1 Response to “InciWeb: The Hopi Camp Crew Gives Back to Mimbres Valley Children’s Garden”

  1. 1 ginger meadows July 5, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Good to hear! Really enjoyed your article. Thank you for writing.

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© Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS, 2009-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert (Hopi) is Professor and Head of the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona.

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Revisiting the Hopi Boarding School Experience at Sherman Institute and the Process of Making Research Meaningful to Community (JAIE, 2018)

Education beyond the Mesas: Hopi Students at Sherman Institute, 1902-1929 (University of Nebraska Press, 2010)

Introduction to Education beyond the Mesas (2010)

The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue: Voices and Images From Sherman Institute (Oregon State University Press, 2012)

Foreward to Don Talayesva’s Sun Chief: An Autobiography of A Hopi Indian (2013)

Foreword to Kevin Whalen’s Native Students at Work: American Indian Labor and Sherman Institute’s Outing Program, 1900-1945

A Second Wave of Hopi Migration (HEQ, 2014)

Marathoner Louis Tewanima and the Continuity of Hopi Running, 1908-1912 (WHQ, 2012). Winner of Spur Award for Best Western Short Nonfiction, Western Writers of America (2013)

Hopi Footraces and American Marathons, 1912-1930 (AQ, 2010)

The Hopi Followers: Chief Tawaquaptewa and Hopi Student Advancement at Sherman Institute, 1906-1909 (JAIE, 2005)

Constitution and Bylaws of the Hopi Tribe (With all amendments, click to download)

Click to listen to KUYI On-Line

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