In our 175-year history, Domtar has long recognized our connection to nature and the health benefits of outdoor recreation for our employees, families and neighbors.
We and our predecessor companies have supported a wide variety of outdoor recreation and sport. From ice fishing and hockey in winter to baseball fields and a cooling splash pad for summer, Domtar has helped our neighbors enjoy playing in the great outdoors.
“My work environment at Domtar is stimulating and rewarding, but Domtar’s social and sporting activities enhance the sense of belonging,” says Maryse Gregoire, a security officer at the Windsor Mill who has been a Domtar employee for 27 years.
“Whether [it’s] the children’s Christmas party (mine or now my grandchildren), the Oyster Party, hockey tournaments across the province, wine and cheese, curling tournaments, Christmas parties with all our current and retired colleagues … all these unifying and fun activities allowed me to appreciate even more the privilege of working at Domtar,” Gregoire says.
Skating, skiing, fishing and other outdoor recreation
The Canada Paper Co., a predecessor to Domtar, in Windsor, Quebec, maintained a nine-hole golf course adjacent to the mill property as early as the 1920s. The mill also offered tennis courts and an ice rink that hosted curling and skating clubs, as well as hockey tournaments for employees and the community.
For years, the mill in Dryden, Ontario, has supported indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities, including a 2018 donation to support repairs and renovation at the Dryden Memorial Arena. This arena, a longtime hub of community activity, hosts hockey for all developmental age groups, figure skating, adult recreational hockey and the local competitive Junior A hockey club.
Elsewhere, our Hawesville Mill has a naming partnership with Hancock County High School in Kentucky that included a $50,000 donation and the installation of two video boards in the gymnasium. In Ashdown, Arkansas, our mill partners with the community on an auction that raises funds for a variety of projects, including the enhancement of a downtown park.
Tammy Waters, a 21-year veteran of the Ashdown Mill, says, “We work together and play together, along with our families, neighbors and kids. It’s part of what unites our communities and why we want to invest in these activities.”
In Kingsport, Tennessee, hundreds of baseball and softball players participate in tournaments at Domtar Park, a facility named for the local mill. It and other recreation areas have been made possible through land swaps and cooperation between the mill and the city.
Because of our ties to the forests and rivers, we also have expanded education and opportunities for outdoor recreation to include hunting and fishing in the land and waters nearby.
Near our Nekoosa Mill in Wisconsin, local residents look forward to the opening of Nepco Lake for ice fishing each winter. The lake supplies water to the mill for the papermaking process, and there is public access to the lake for outdoor recreation.
Our Johnsonburg Mill in Pennsylvania releases fingerling trout from an on-site hatchery into local rivers through a cooperative effort with the company, the employees and retirees, and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The effort makes local rivers more appealing to those who enjoy fishing and outdoor recreation.
Mascot recognizes industry
One of our favorite sporting characters is Nekoosa’s Peter Papermaker. The mascot predates Domtar’s ownership of the mill, but it signifies the importance of our industry in community life.
The earliest mention of the Nekoosa Papermakers came in a publication in the early 1900s. By 1922, the Nekoosa High School football team was known as the Papermakers. A century later, a Papermakers t-shirt even made it to Fashion Week in London.
Domtar has continued supporting athletics and outdoor recreation at the high school, with donations and cheers for all Papermakers.
Play on, papermakers everywhere!