On a clear and warm Saturday morning in May, Domtar, SCA, and the Hancock County Heritage Commission united to help prepare Jeffreys Cliffs to open to the public in Hawesville, Kentucky. My experience at the event was one to remember. It was my first time ever to Kentucky. I grew up in Southeastern Virginia and have rarely traveled. Now, as a staff member with the SCA I’m able to visit a variety of places and meet a lot of genuine people who are hoping to do some good for the environment.
Over 50 Domtar employee volunteers and their families rallied together to restore and conserve their local park. These volunteers removed 70,000 square feet of litter, placed boundary and trail markers, and created over 1,600 feet of new trail! As an alumnus of many of SCA’s programs, I am familiar of the organizations ability to get things done. However, this project was a bit different from my previous experiences. This time the driving force behind the event’s success was the amazing group of Domtar employee volunteers.
One stand-out employee was Lori Russelburg, the HR & Finance Advisor for Domtar in Owensboro, KY. While other folks were in the field carrying out their tasks, Lori took it upon herself to make sure everyone stayed well hydrated. Lori strapped a few water coolers to a UTV and delivered water to everyone throughout the day. That kind of dedication and care makes an event with Domtar so successful.
Another critical partner I would like to recognize is Steve Canepari. Steve is a member of the Hancock County Heritage Commission and was instrumental in organizing the day’s activities. Steve was kind enough to lead SCA alumni leaders and staff along the soon-to-be trail corridor as he spoke about the history of the cliffs with heartwarming affection. Jeffreys Cliffs are located four miles east of Hawesville in an area known as Skillman Bottoms. Other cliffs surround the named formation, with heights that range from 75-100ft. The cliffs contain an old rock shelter known as Morgan’s Cave, which was used as a hideout by Confederate guerilla forces during the Civil War! Steve was a wealth of knowledge about the location and was able to provide a bit of back-story for the service location.
I truly enjoyed my experience in Kentucky, and I’m looking forward to another visit in the future!