When the Thanksgiving storm of 2011 toppled hundreds of trees at Winding Trails in Farmington, the employees decided to turn the lumber into a new nature center.
The building is called Nature's Porch and it wasn't a high priority at Winding Trails.
"We had in our master plan, to do a new nature center which was not in the works for three or four years," said Scott Brown of Winding Trails.
The Autumn storm, however, put it on the fast track.
"When all those trees came down, and believe me, this park was devastated. We have 380 acres here 12 miles of trails," Brown said. "It took us seven months to clear the trails up, but we had these beautiful oaks and pines that went down. We've got to do something with this."
Jared Braddock of E.R. Hinman & Sons was contacted to salvage the wood and turn it into the nature and community center.
"We can do so many things. We got to do everything on this project from taking the trees off this property to milling them for doing the shop work," Braddock said. "We did the mortise and tenon joinery to actually putting it back together we got to recycle the material off the property, use Connecticut grown stuff. It was a really exciting project and really excited the company."
The building was designed to not only showcase the wood, but also traditional building techniques from generations past such as mortise and tenon joinery secured by pegs.
"We actually have oak pegs that go into that and hold them in place, Brown said. "And the material is green, so as it dries the wood shrinks, and as it shrinks it pulls those pegs together and tightens them up and makes the thing just beautiful."
The building itself will become part of the education program.
"we've got school groups and campers that come through here and they'll learn about the building and how we used that wood," Brown said.
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