Employees & families clear storm damage at Millwood State Park

AS SEEN AT http://www.thesca.org/connect/blog/sca-domtar-team-service-arkansas

On October 4th, SCA teamed up with national supporter Domtar to renovate campgrounds and clear storm debris at Millwood State Park in Ashdown, Arkansas.

Since 2012, Domtar has supported SCA’s urban initiatives for youth in cities across the country. SCA crew leaders from New York City, just finished with a season of fieldwork helping urban parks recover from Hurricane Sandy, have taken to the road this fall to work with Domtar employee volunteers in Wisconsin and Arkansas — giving back to a valued supporter and sharing stories of their work with urban youth. “These projects are so much fun,” said leader Theresa Geelhoed. “Domtar supports us, and it makes sense for our members to learn more about what they do, and how they promote corporate sustainability.”

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Ashdown is the site of one of Domtar’s largest paper mills, which processes paper sustainably using only wood grown within a 200-mile radius of the plant. Millwood Lake, nine miles away and 29,000 acres, helps supply water for Domtar’s operations — and Domtar helps to steward Millwood State Park in return. The lake is a renowned fishing site, home to largemouth and spotted bass, crappie, white bass, striped bass, channel and flathead catfish, and bluegills… not to mention a thriving population of over 9,000 American alligators.

But during the first week of October, fierce storms tore across Texas and Arkansas, leaving hundreds of thousands of residents without power and stripping limbs from trees across the region. At Millwood State Park, downed branches and debris littered the campgrounds, leaving park staff with the herculean task of restoring the site in time for a busy fall visitor season.

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Enter Domtar and SCA. In a record turnout, over 60 Domtar employees and their families came out on Saturday morning to give back to the park. After clearing four pickup-truck loads of fallen branches and debris, they renovated the campground by repainting picnic tables and signposts, cleaning out fire pits, and raking leaf litter. By lunchtime, volunteers had cleared an open lawn to picnic on, and 30 refurbished campsites stood ready and waiting for fall visitors.

Millwood State Park Volunteer Coordinator Kelsey Ramsey marveled at the work Domtar volunteers were able to accomplish with help from SCA. “With only one day to work, we thought ya’ll would finish maybe half the campsites… but with all the kids and families pitching in, the whole campground got done! The park looks like a whole new place!”

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Saturday’s event followed a successful partnership project earlier this summer in Nekoosa, Wisconsin, where Domtar employees teamed up with SCA to restore a community skating rink. Big thanks to Domtar for their continuing support of SCA programs across the country, and for their employees’ hard work to give back to their community green spaces!

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