Domtar employees, youths team to spruce up park

Karen Madden
Wisconsin Rapids Tribune
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

NEKOOSA – City youths will have a nicer place to play after Domtar employees joined forces with the Student Conservation Association to improve the skating rink’s warming house and nearby playground.

Domtar has been supporting the SCA since 2012, said Heather Stowe, Domtar’s sustainability manager. In return for Domtar’s support, SCA members help with company projects.

The SCA is a national nonprofit group founded in 1957 that encourages the next generation of conservationists, said Ann Pedtke, association outreach coordinator. The group aims to get students engaged in the outdoors; it also works on projects in communities, including helping the New York area recover from Hurricane Sandy, Pedtke said.

Lelah Pewu was one of the association’s crew leaders who helped paint the skating rink’s warming house, benches and shelves Saturday at the park at 1002 Market St. Pewu, originally from Liberia in West Africa and currently living in New York, said he has been working with a group of high school students from across the country to complete projects across the United States. He has spent a lot of this summer working on projects related to Hurricane Sandy, he said.

Helping out with the Nekoosa projects Saturday was a chance for SCA members to repay the help Domtar has given them, Pewu said.

“We really appreciate their support,” Pewu said.

Janet Ohlert was one of the Domtar volunteers helping paint playground equipment across from the library.

“I just really wanted to help out the community,” Ohlert said.

Ohlert said she was having a good time being outside and helping improve the appearance of the playground equipment.