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Nekoosa Splash Pad: Water Works — and Plays

Categories: Giving Back
Nekoosa splash pad

We’re not all work and no play at Domtar, especially when it comes to water. That’s why we sponsored the construction of the Nekoosa Splash Pad in Nekoosa, Wisconsin.

We are good stewards of the water that we use to make pulp and paper for everyday products. And we’re delighted to help our neighbors enjoy the water by splashing in the warm days of summer.

Employees at our Nekoosa Mill celebrated with the community at the grand opening of the recently completed Nekoosa Splash Pad at Kautzer Recreational Plaza. Domtar contributed to the effort, which also received substantial funding from the Legacy Foundation. We’ve invested in the park during the past several years by planting trees, donating playground equipment, sponsoring cleanup days and more.

“The Nekoosa Splash Pad is a great addition to the park, especially for the hot days ahead,” says Craig Timm, Domtar’s government relations manager. “Outdoor recreation is important here in all seasons, and we’re glad to be part of this new, exciting place to play.”

We also provide three public boat landings and also allow various opportunities for the community to enjoy nature along the Wisconsin River, a vital community asset.

Nekoosa Splash Pad Highlights Water Conservation

Children playing in the fresh water at the Nekoosa Splash Pad may not be thinking of water conservation, but Domtar is.

In recent years, we have taken a closer look at the costs of using water in making pulp and paper. Thanks to a variety of process improvements, we are seeing greater water efficiency and lower costs.

We are intentional about water efficiency, and we clean and return nearly 90 percent of it to its source. In many cases, the water is cleaner and clearer than it was originally.

“While Domtar’s mills operate in areas with ample water supplies and, in most locations, we pay little to no fees to withdraw water, we don’t want to fall into the trap of taking this resource for granted,” says Brian Kozlowski, senior manager for sustainability performance optimization and Nekoosa resident. “We understand water is a shared resource that we borrow from nature.”

Some of our mills, first built in the late 1800s, did not include water conservation features in their original design. But as we’ve upgraded them and built new mills, we’ve placed special emphasis on sustainable water management.

We’re doing our part to conserve water. Our mills have reduced total water use by 4 percent since 2013. That means we can now avoid using enough water to fill 6,560 Olympic-sized swimming pools each year.

“Water is a local resource best managed with site-specific strategies,” says Paige Goff, Domtar’s vice president of sustainability. “By understanding the unique challenges and opportunities where we operate, we can manage water usage in a way that helps us be better stewards of this shared resource, making our business and communities more sustainable.”

We also recognize that we are literally connected to our neighbors through the rivers and lakes that supply our water. As we continue to innovate, we are also working to improve water quality and water management so that we can serve as better stewards of these shared resources. Our efforts help make it possible to enjoy a day playing at the Nekoosa Splash Pad or fishing at the lake.