Salvaged wood from trees that had to be removed for 2019 Canada Winter Games events is being recycled by Red Deer students.
Six-hundred tiny art easels were made by young volunteers from four schools — Gateway Christian School, Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, Notre Dame High School and Central Middle School.
Their made-in-Red Deer creations will be given out as part of a gifts package for Games VIPs.
The wood came from trees felled to create venue improvements at River Bend Golf Course, the Games plaza, Great Chief Park and other venues.
It’s a green project that has allowed students to hone their woodworking skills and also make a direct contribution to the Games, said Shawn Moore, of Eco-Tree, a mentor for the sawing for schools extra-curricular program.
For this “amazing” show of citizenship, the young woodworkers who came together during four Saturdays to make the easels, will get free Games tuques, Moore added.
Scott Robinson, CEO of the 2019 Canada Winter Games, called the little easels unique creations. Since they are handmade in the city, he added they will make an excellent keepsake from the Games, which will run from Feb. 15 to March 3.
Lyn Radford, chair of the local Games committee, noted that sustainability is a major focus of the event, and this project reinforces it.
She believes it’s also a great way to involve more young people in volunteerism and give them a personal connection to the national sporting event that will bring about 3,600 athletes, coaches and assistants to the city early next year.
Mason Kelly, a Grade 7 student at Central Middle School, feels the project was a great learning experience. He said it gave him an opportunity to work with a drill, nail gun, glue gun, as well as a sander.