Domtar & SCA Restore Historic Waterfront in Plymouth, North Carolina


A Small Riverfront Town Gets a Big Overhaul Thanks to Volunteers from Domtar & SCA

On June 11th, SCA teamed up with national supporter Domtar to refurbish a community boardwalk along the Roanoke River in Plymouth, North Carolina — helping to revitalize the waterfront and bring new visitors to this historic small town.

Domtar volunteers paint the boardwalk in historic Plymouth, North Carolina

Since 2012, Domtar has partnered with SCA to support SCA’s youth conservation crews in cities across the country, as well as local restoration projects in communities where Domtar employees live and work. SCA crew leaders from New York City and Washington DC, about to gear up for a summer of urban programming, were excited to travel to North Carolina to help facilitate the project in Plymouth.

“This is my very first trip to North Carolina,” said NYC leader Jane Chan, “and it’s such a different environment from New York City! It’s wonderful to see a whole community so excited about getting together to do conservation work!”

Volunteers on the boardwalk in Plymouth, North Carolina

Guided by SCA crew leaders, Domtar employee volunteers and their families cleaned and repainted 500 feet of boardwalk along the riverfront — a recreational resource heavily used by local families, fishermen, and visitors. Along with refurbishing the boardwalk, volunteers also cleared brush and debris from the site of the historic Amistad House — one of the oldest buildings in the town, which has been linked to the Underground Railroad. Long fallen into disrepair, the house is now being renovated to become the African American Cultural Center & Salt Water Underground Railroad Station, which will honor the region’s Civil War history and the history of the Civil Rights Era.

SCA volunteers help reseal the boardwalk in historic Plymouth, North Carolina

For a small town of 4,000, Plymouth has a wealth of historical resources, including the Port O’ Plymouth Museum (part of the Civil War Discovery Trail) and the Roanoke River Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. Plymouth Town Manager Sam Styons is confident that the work completed by SCA and Domtar volunteers will help to bring new visitors to the town and encourage local residents to appreciate the natural resources in their own community.

“We have a lot of things here that you won’t find anywhere else. We have black bears along the river, bald eagles, osprey. It’s a rich community and a lot of people drive by without ever realizing what’s here.”

Domtar volunteer Kelly takes in the sights from the boardwalk

“We don’t just work in Plymouth, we live here, so giving back to the community is important to both Domtar and our employees,” said Domtar’s President and Chief Executive Officer John D. Williams. “By partnering with the Student Conservation Association, we’re able to advance SCA’s mission of building the next generation of conservation leaders.”

SCA leader Jane joins young volunteers on the Plymouth boardwalk

Next-generation conservation leaders were hard at work on the Plymouth waterfront. Sustainability Engagement Manager Heather Stowe worked side-by-side with her five-year-old son — one of many Domtar employees who brought their families to pitch in.

SCA Events Coordinator Roland Richardson also got hooked on conservation at a young age through Domtar-supported programs. “In high school I served in SCA’s community crew program in Washington DC, where I first discovered my passion for conservation,” Roland said. “Thanks to Domtar’s support, SCA’s youth initiatives are still going strong, bringing young people into the outdoors. My experience with those programs is the reason I’m here today.”

5-year-old volunteer Liam pitches in to help paint the boardwalk

Saturday’s event followed successful partnership projects with Domtar last year in North Carolina and Texas. SCA will team up with Domtar again this fall to restore a local park in Kamloops, British Columbia. Big thanks to Domtar for their continuing support of SCA programs across the country!

Read more about Domtar’s partnership with SCA.