Domtar and SCA “Step Up” in Kingsport, TN

We had the opportunity this October to work with one of the Student Conservation Associations longtime partners, Domtar, a paper manufacturer with an office located in Kingsport, TN. On October 12, we worked with volunteers from the Kingsport Paper Mill, and Ridgefield’s Converting Center, at Warriors’ Path State Park. In all, there were 49 volunteers, and 5 SCA Alumni Leaders; the Alumni Leaders stepped in as support for 3 different projects: Step installation, Trash pick-up and disposal, and Trail restoration. Each leader worked with a group of 10-15 volunteers. Altogether, we ended up demoing 35 decaying railroad tie steps and installing 12 new box steps made from pressure treated wood.

We started by cutting them to dimension, bracketing them together and then setting them in place with rebar. We were able to restore 0.1 miles of pedestrian trail for public use, and lastly, our group remove 135 pounds of trash and waste from a popular visitor fishing spot in the park. We worked first hand with a lively group of volunteers, and we had an excellent time collaborating with park staff. Our event closed out on a positive note and our sponsoring partner, Domtar and park staff at Kingsport State Park were very pleased with our positive energy, work efforts and engagement with the volunteers.

-Annie Armstrong, SCA Alumni Ambassador