Backin’ It: Project 5480 – Zeal’s new philanthropic project to reforest Colorado

We hiked through beetle kill forest, landscape reminiscent of “Where the Wild Things Are.” Piles of dead trees, stacked in the shape of mountains. Healthy Aspen trees stood tall beside their fallen friends.

Beetles infest lodgepole pine trees, which comprise 8% of Colorado’s 22 million acres of forests. Beetle kill is a real problem in Colorado and the environment we love to live and play in. Some predict beetle kill will deforest an area the size of Rhode Island when all is said and done.

The good news is that philanthropic companies like Zeal exist. “Explore More” is Zeal’s philosophy and as authentic adventurers, they also see the importance of giving back. Our hike wound into a fairytale landscape, a scene I’ve dreamed about through Pinterest vision boards. A 4-person bluegrass band welcomed us into this picturesque, somewhat surreal, landscape and a table pristinely set for 20. This summer night under the trees was perfectly thought out to the finest detail.

Hors d’oeouvres and wine were served and we sat down to an incredible farm to table dinner, prepared by Chef Hosea Rosenberg and Blackbelly Catering. Zeal’s President, John Sanchez, warmly welcomed us all and announced Project 5480, Zeal’s reforestation initiative, planting 5480 trees annually in their home state, Colorado.
Thank you Zeal for an incredible night and an incredible project.


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