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Skilled trades students build multi-purpose shed for Oak Hammock Marsh

June 26, 2019

If you’re planning a nature walk along the trails at Oak Hammock Marsh this weekend, you may spot a new cabin-like structure along the path.

This week, staff and students from Red River College’s skilled trades apprenticeship programs donated a new multi-purpose shed they’d designed and built for the interpretive centre.

“As Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning and research, we take a hands-on, learn-by-doing approach to education, and this shed is a true example of this at work,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“We are proud to donate this structure to the Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre, and to share the talent and craftsmanship of our students and staff with the community to use and enjoy for years to come.”

The shed project was an assignment for students in the Level 3 Carpentry, Level 2 Roofing, and Pre-Employment Electrical programs as part of their academic learning goals. Twenty-four students led by four instructors worked on the structure over five weeks between classroom theory sessions and time in the lab. The windows and doors were supplied by Jeld-Wen and the delivery of the structure was donated by Greg’s Tilt Deck Service.

“This assignment is such an important learning opportunity for the students because it’s often the first time many of them will work together across multiple trades disciplines to apply their knowledge in a collaborative way — much like they will once they graduate and go on to work in industry,” says Carpentry instructor Rob Masi.

“We thought it was a great opportunity to share the students’ completed work by donating the structure to a non-profit organization that could utilize it in a meaningful way, and we are thrilled that the shed has found a permanent home at Oak Hammock Marsh. We hope to work with more community partners who could benefit from a project like this in the future.”

Oak Hammock Marsh recently received funding to launch a new self-guided canoe tour program through the wetland trails, and with the donation of the new shed, they will also be expanding their courtyard area — creating even more space for visitors to enjoy and explore.

Moving forward, the shed will be used by staff, volunteers and visitors for interpretive programming and events.

“Our goal at Oak Hammock Marsh is to create new and innovative opportunities to connect people with our wetlands, and this multi-purpose structure is yet another way that we can expand our facilities and programs in order to provide these meaningful interactions,” says Nathalie Bays, Manager of Interpretive Centre Operations, Oak Hammock Marsh.

“We want to thank the students and instructors at the College for donating this beautiful shed, and we look forward to using it and sharing it with the many school groups, tourists and visitors that we welcome to Oak Hammock Marsh each year.”