When Gove Aker, Center Director, Collbran Job Corps, asked Russ Sibert, Collbran Job Corps’ Welding Instructor, to conceive a means to showcase a brass plaque commemorating 100 years of the existence of the U. S. Forest Service that would protect the plaque from theft and have a meaningful impact, Sibert went to work. He designed a unique tree sculpture and, with assistance from his welding students/employees, built the sculpture. The sculpture is titled “Old Growth.”
The plaque rests in a representation of a tree stump, complete with cut branches and bark. Sibert and his students put in nearly 100 hours of labor and used 100 pounds of welding rod.
Transporting the sculpture in a small trailer with cement and rocks, 14 students, Sibert, Aker, and Ron Collins, Work Programs Officer, traveled 2-1/2 hours to the Na Gach Amphitheater, San Juan National Forest, for the “tree” planting. Sibert said the sculpture was planted with moss rock at the bottom to represent “strength and stability.”
Following the planting they all enjoyed a picnic featuring Sibert’s barbecued bratwurst. Sibert said, “It was excellent to have the opportunity to build something that will be a part of God’s country for many years to come.”