Ken Petteplace

Ribbon cut on treehouse

The District of Fort St. James and Conifex are pleased to announce the ribbon-cutting on a new playhouse in Cottonwood Park.

The District of Fort St. James and Conifex Timber Inc. are pleased to announce the ribbon-cutting on what has been dubbed the “Insta-Treehouse” in Cottonwood Park.

Originally designed and built in 2012, the playhouse was entered by Conifex as part of the 2012 Canfor Playhouse Challenge.

The treehouse was included in the Fair at the 2012 Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, and also made a local appearance as part of Conifex’s float in the 2013 Canada Day Parade.

The Insta-Treehouse was created through the collaborative efforts of Conifex Timber Inc. who donated the dimensional lumber, MQN Architects who designed the treehouse, Ventana Construction Corp. who did the original construction, M & L Painting who stained the wood, A & B Tool Rentals Ltd., who donated the use of power tools, and General Paint Corp., who donated the wood stain for the equipment.

The Insta-Treenhouse was then gifted to the municipality following the competition, and installed by the District of Fort St. James’ Public Works crew this summer.

Situated in the shade of cottonwood trees in Cottonwood Park, the playground equipment is already receiving much attention and use from local children.

Surrounded by a bed of wood chips, the equipment boasts a climbing net, climbing wall, stairs and a slide.

A plaque on the side of the apparatus reads: “Each company chose to be part of the challenge because we believe that every child, in every community, has the right to play and have fun.  We also support Habitat for Humanity and the concept of affordable housing for deserving families”.

“The community of Fort St. James has given us a great kick-start to getting our lumber business underway, and we’re delighted to reciprocate to the community in this way”, states Ken Shields, chairman and chief operating officer of Conifex Lumber Inc.

Councillor Dave Birdi, representative for the municipality and a long-time employee of Conifex said, “This project highlights the wood industry and is another example of Conifex’s partnership with the community.”

“We are grateful on behalf of the District of Fort St. James for Conifex’s contribution to the families to enjoy this equipment at our beautiful Cottonwood Park by the lake.”

The donation and installation of the Insta-Treehouse corresponds with Conifex’s announcement of having planted 10 million trees this year, replacing the amount harvested in the period of 2010 – 2012 by a ratio of nearly 2:1 (having harvested approximately 5.1 million trees in that time period).