Many Moab residents and visitors have watched the progress of the Pack Creek Fire with a sense of sorrow and loss, wondering how their favorite trails and natural refuges in the mountains will look when the fire is over. Laura Borichevsky has lived in Moab for three years, and for her, the mountains are like a piece of her former home in the Northwest. She has enjoyed camping in the La Sals, watching sunrises and sunsets.
“Moonlight Meadows is one of my favorite spots,” she said, acknowledging that fire officials have said that the trail has been impacted by the fire.
Borichevsky connected with others distraught over the fire within her social media network, which includes many people who love to travel to Moab but aren’t residents. Many of those visitors made donations to the local fire department when they heard about the fire. That gave Borichevsky the idea to launch another fundraiser, one focused on supporting any restoration efforts that are needed in the wake of the Pack Creek Fire.
“We’re not sure what things are going to look like and what kind of restoration needs there are going to be,” she said. “It will renew itself with time and there are things we can do to support that.”
She got in touch with a local artist, Abby Leighton, to create a tee-shirt design. Leighton, too, cherishes the La Sals as a reminder of her former home, in Connecticut. She remembers hiking in the woods, appreciating autumn foliage, and taking refuge from hot summer temperatures in the alpine. Her illustration depicts wildflowers and conifer trees surrounding a lake at the base of mountains.
“The last time I was up in the La Sals was a couple days before the fire broke out,” said Leighton. “My boyfriend and I went to Warner Lake and strolled around, looking at all the wildflowers in bloom. It was a beautiful day, probably 75 degrees and sunny… I really wanted to capture the lake with the wildflowers in bloom in front of it.”
The illustration is available on a variety of styles of shirts including tank tops, tee-shirts, long-sleeved tees, and sweatshirts, and each shirt comes in a selection of up to five colors.
Borichevsky and Leighton hoped they would be able to sell 50 shirts through the fundraiser. The first day the platform opened, they sold 100. Both locals and non-locals have participated. As of June 22, orders have been placed for nearly 300 La Sal shirts. Orders will be shipped in early July, and Borichevsky expects the shirts will be spotted being worn around town by mid-July.
If there is more interest in the shirts after the first order, Borichevsky said she will be open to placing a second order, possibly with the option of a sun hoody, a shirt style that has been requested.
Borichevsky has been in touch with the Moab Trail Mix Committee, which advises the county on trail issues and performs volunteer trail work, about receiving the proceeds of the fundraiser.
“If anyone out in the community is aware of other organizations who are going to be getting involved, we would love to know so that we can get them this money,” she added.
Leighton expressed gratitude for the enthusiastic response to the initiative.
“I’m blown away by the amount of support we’ve gotten on the fundraiser,” she said, noting that people from across the country have participated.
Borichevsky credits the Moab community for much of the fundraiser’s success.
“It’s just another testament to how amazing and tight-knit this community is, both in times of crisis and times outside of that,” she said.
What: La Sal Mountain restoration fundraiser
When: First order window closes on June 29
Cost: $19.99-$34.99, depending on style
Shirts can be ordered at www.bonfire.com/we-love-the-la-sal-mountains