The Student Conservation Association recently partnered with Domtar employees from the Raleigh, North Carolina office and the Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania mill on service projects to help restore two facilities in their communities.
Domtar has partnered with SCA in the United States and Canada since 2012, serving as a national supporter with its financial contributions and as a local contributor through a series of community projects like the ones in Raleigh and Johnsonburg.
Restoring the Sycamore Mess Hall at Umstead Park in Raleigh
More than 40 volunteers, most of whom work at Domtar’s Raleigh location, recently visited Umstead State Park to help the Student Conservation Association restore a historic mess hall.
The Sycamore Mess Hall was once a beautiful wood-beamed hall with a grand stone fireplace and benches and tables made from locally milled pine. However, the building had fallen into disrepair and narrowly escaped demolition, sitting abandoned for decades. The park hopes to reopen the space as a venue for weddings, family gatherings and other park events.
The volunteers helped paint the interior of the building, and sand and repair all of the original tables and benches, which will be reinstalled soon
“Domtar is committed to investing in the communities in which we operate,” said Brad Goodwin president of Domtar Personal Care North America. “We’ve organized this volunteer restoration of Umstead Park’s Sycamore Hall so that the public may benefit from the revitalization of this historic space.”
Restoring the Johnsonburg Community Center
On June 17, 118 volunteers gathered to help refurbish the historic Johnsonburg Community Center in Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania, which was originally built by the Johnsonburg Mill almost 100 years ago. It was the largest event ever held by the Student Conservation Association and Domtar in the history of their partnership. Domtar also provided a donation to help fund a new weight room at the community center.
The volunteers were mostly made up of Johnsonburg mill employees, their families and the Spartans, a community youth group that teaches Johnsonburg-area youth about social responsibility and giving back through community service projects.
During the event, volunteers helped clean up debris, and they helped restore the structural integrity of the building. They also spent time painting, assembling weight racks for the weight room and renovating the outdoor playground, which holds many community events and programs for area children.
“Many of the employees at the [Domtar] facility expressed a desire for us to do more in the community and specifically mentioned the Johnsonburg Community Center,” said Greg Linscott, manager of Domtar’s Johnsonburg Mill. “After a tour of the center it became obvious that the building needed our help. I’m thrilled that we were not only able to provide funding for a new fitness center there, but also help restore the center to what it once was.”
Student Conservation Association Mission
The Student Conservation Association provides opportunities for young people to make a positive impact on the world around them. Its members protect, enhance and restore national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks and urban green spaces.
Participants age 15 to young adult serve in programs lasting two weeks to 12 months. These programs teach members to plan, enact and lead while making a difference in their world.
“One of SCA’s core missions is to foster future conservationists, and Domtar shares this same passion,” said Domtar’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Heather Stowe. “We really embrace the opportunity to work with them and make a meaningful difference in our communities. In fact, we normally have two events each year, but this year we have a third SCA event planned in Montreal to celebrate the city’s 375th anniversary.”