Mary Ann Van Osdell, Eskew, Eric A., Landry, Kimberly Marie
News Release Distributed 12/08/10
The Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation recently donated $10,000 to the LSU AgCenter Grant Walker 4-H Educational Center in Pollock to fund a multi-purpose building.
Ed Smith, north Louisiana region manager for Weyerhaeuser, said he requested the money from the foundation at the request of Randy Ewing, former state senator who is assisting in fundraising efforts for the 4-H facility. The foundation helps local communities where Weyerhaeuser has land and manufacturing facilities.
Smith said over the years the camp has served many of Weyerhaeuser’s 900 Louisiana employees and their families who are now 4-H camp “alums.”
4-H Camp is an educational program of the LSU AgCenter. Each summer, approximately 4,000 youth in fourth through sixth grades from all 64 Louisiana parishes attend the camp. The rest of the year, the Grant Walker 4-H Educational Center hosts numerous other programs for junior high and high school-aged youth.
“It is extremely exciting to work with companies like Weyerhaeuser that believe in the importance of 4-H and the educational impact it has on the youth of Louisiana,” said Eric Eskew, director of the Louisiana 4-H Foundation.
“The Grant Walker 4-H Educational Center is 87 years old, and when 4-H summer camp is at full capacity, there is not a building on site that can hold everyone at one time,” Eskew said. “This has become a major issue, especially during inclement weather. This donation from the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation is another step toward building a new, multi-purpose building at 4-H camp – a building that thousands of youth will use each year.”
“At Grant Walker, we have a critical need for a facility large enough to hold 500 campers,” said camp director Kim Landry. “This facility will shelter campers from rain and extreme heat and cold in one central location – something we currently don’t have the capability of doing. Weyerhaeuser has been a great corporate supporter of 4-H in Louisiana, and this donation is a great step in achieving our goal at camp.”
Since 1993, Weyerhaeuser and the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation have contributed more than $74,000 for various LSU AgCenter-related programs and local 4-H Clubs, but this is the largest contribution since 1999, Smith said.
Doug Marquardt, Weyerhaeuser Red River area manager, said all three of his children attended 4-H Camp.
Camp is a great learning opportunity for children from both inner-city and rural backgrounds, he said, adding that he appreciates that 4-H programs teach children responsibility.
Weyerhaeuser is one of the world’s largest forest products companies with approximately 15,000 employees in 10 countries. The company grows and harvests trees, builds homes and makes a range of forest products essential to everyday lives.It has been operating in Louisiana since 1957 and sustainably manages over one million timberland acres in 29 parishes. In Louisiana, Weyerhaeuser operates manufacturing facilities in Arcadia, Dodson, Holden, Natchitoches and Zwolle. The company also has a tree improvement center in Taylor; timberlands offices in Bogalusa, Dodson, Livingston, Natchitoches and Taylor; and Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Development Company offices in Mandeville and Ruston.