Elko County Community Projects
Volunteer of the Month
Everything Elko Magazine
Contributed by Susanne and Gary Reese
It is always a pleasure to write about Elko County’s conservation volunteers. Especially when they are talented and successful at a young age. Elko County is extremely fortunate to have many such people call it home. Northeastern Nevada Stewardship Group, FFA, 4H, Nevada Wildlife Volunteers, Sage Grouse Experience, and Friends of the Ruby Mountains, just to name a few of the volunteer groups helping with hands-on environmental and conservation projects in recent years.
Anthony Collazo is responsible for planting 400 trees to beautify and enhance the character of his home, West Wendover, a small desert city on the shore of the Great Salt Lake. He was initially inspired by an earth science video citing environmental concerns. Tony took the challenges personally and decided to do something concrete to help solve the earth’s problems. He made a self-commitment to plant trees where there was a barren desert. The idea was popular with the residents and with their support he contacted West Wendover’s city director who also appreciated the idea of enhancing the landscape with trees. After much research into successful reforestation projects and potential for fast growing hardy trees, Anthony reached out to the Arbor Day Foundation and Nevada Division of Forestry (NDF) to further research stock that would be successful in the heat and harsh winters. Inspired, the community supported a fund-raising project and community auction would help him fund his first project. After spreading the word around town, assembling a volunteer network, and advertising on social media, he was able to raise over $15,000!
The first 100 trees were planted in the deserted area behind his apartment complex, where he first looked out and realized that Wendover needed more green! Trees were successfully planted there on the first of May in 2020. A month later, his volunteers planted another 200 trees. Anthony’s teams of volunteers have planted over 400 trees all over town; at both high schools, the dog park, downtown city offices, and the golf course. He was recently highlighted by NDF in a forestry stewardship video and continues to receive assistance from their Urban and Community Forestry Program.
This is Anthony Collazo’s senior year of high school. He is Student Body Vice President and a member of the Honor Society. Anthony applied for a grant that purchased eco-friendly school supplies for incoming Freshman class. Not one to rest on past accomplishments, he has another big dream: to see Wendover become a Tree City USA