Savenac 2016 - Passport in Time

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Montana - Lolo NF
Closed! Savenac Historic Nursery Restoration Project - 21 Years!

July 10-15, 2016 (including weekends)

Must commit to entire session

Savenac Nursery was established in 1907 and has had four major “events” in its history, though we can truly say that its life has never truly been uneventful. Savenac was founded by Elers Koch who spotted the nursery while on his honeymoon trip along the Mullan Road. Koch acquired the complex, and named it after a nearby, abandoned homestead that had belonged to German settlers named Savennach. First, Savenac had to be rebuilt after 1910 due to the fires from “The Great Burn.” Second in its story was the arrival of the railroads: Savenac became a tourist attraction, so an arboretum was constructed to hold exotic plants; “eye candy” to entice people to stop. The third major phase for Savenac was in the 1930s, when the “New Deal” was established, and men from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) improved the facilities and seedling production. This lasted until WWII when the men were called to war. Finally, in 1969, Savenac closed as a functional nursery when the Coeur d’Alene Nursery opened in a more temperate climate – the winters could be harsh and long at Savenac. The final – and ongoing – stage in the Nursery’s lifespan has been the presence of the volunteers and staff, whose dedication has revitalized Savenac: the first PIT project was in 1995, and has gone uninterrupted for two decades! In 1999, Savenac was formally listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). So, with the combined efforts of dedicated PIT volunteers and Forest staff, the legend and beauty of Savenac continues, and we hope to hand things off to yet another generation who will continue this trend!

This year will mark the Savenac Nursery’s 21st annual PIT project! No small feat, and not at all possible without the dedication of PIT volunteers, local support, and Superior Ranger District staff holding strong! We have had a pretty steady crew of “regulars” each year, but we are looking for new faces to add to our fun, so we welcome Savenac “vets” and folks new to our project to apply and join us this year! We will focus on giving Savenac its annual dose of TLC. Since 1995, we have been painting and scraping; working on the administrative buildings windows and wells; replacing side walk cement blocks and edging; repairing and building picnic tables; lately helping the local 6th graders with their Christmas tree projects; and displaying historic Elers Koch memorabilia. Previous projects have also included roofing, landscaping, replacing stairs, trail maintenance, museum displays, and building rustic furniture. This year, the long term and thoughtful maintenance will continue with plans for additional museum work and the potential for a bridge restoration project and, as always, we need your help to keep this site at its best. There will be projects available for all skill levels. On Friday, July 15th, we intend to recognize the contributions made by all volunteers and staff who have helped make Savenac into the amazing project it has become. We will honor those who have joined us in the past, those who are present, and all of those who we hope to work with in the future. We believe we are a unique project, dear to many, and families have always been an important part of our project – we have watched many young people grow up though the numerous summers! We hope you will come and find out just what makes Savenac so special!

Number of openings: 25

Special skills: A sense of humor and willingness to have fun is appreciated; water bottle, work gloves, and safety goggles required; previous construction, carpentry, painting, general grounds-keeping, landscaping, and/or restoration skills helpful, but not required

Minimum age: 10 years old, under 18 with a responsible adult

Facilities: FS housing provided at no charge; water, bath facilities; tent camping and limited RV parking available on site; shower facilities available in the Cookhouse; no hook-ups; meals provided by FS; lodging and other amenities available at Lincoln’s Silver Dollar Bar and Motel next to the Nursery; St. Regis and Superior are full-service communities with hotels/motels, restaurants, and a full range of other amenities; volunteers responsible for own lodging (if opting to stay off-site), personal bedding/camping equipment, water bottle, safety equipment and transportation

Nearest towns: St. Regis, 15 miles; Superior, 30 miles

Applications due: May 9, 2016
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