Union volunteers build new observation deck in Ann Arbor

A new dock at Washtenaw Community College, constructed by USA’s union volunteers, provides educational and recreational benefits to students, faculty, and the public (Union Sportsmen’s Alliance)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Volunteers from the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance have constructed a new observational deck on the Washtenaw Community College campus.

The 10-foot-by-16-foot structure has been installed at the edge of a 5-acre pond. A 16-foot bench attached to the deck allows users to stop and watch for wildlife.

“This project at WCC is one of perseverance,” said USA Director of Union Relations Walt Ingram in a release.

“Since the first conversation between the UA Training Center and WWC in 2017, there have been many hurdles, but staff members of the USA, WCC, UA Local 190, and UA International kept the effort moving forward through each stage of planning, design, permitting, and construction. The result is a superb structure at a great location for college students and the community to learn from and enjoy the natural world.”

Volunteers from UA Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 190, Sheet Metal Workers Local 80, and Operating Engineers Local 324 donated 175 hours of skilled labor to assemble the deck, which will also offer biology students a dry place to conduct studies, according to the release.

The deck was assembled as a Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Work Boots in the Ground conservation project.

“Getting people in the mechanical trades together to build something for WCC’s biology students and community members to use was an awesome experience,” said UA Local 190 Training Director Andy Fielder, who led the project. “It was the first Work Boots on the Ground conservation project I’ve been part of, and I enjoyed it very much. I’d gladly do it again.”

Tony Esposito, Technical Director of UA programs and services at the Great Lakes Regional Training Center, said the deck will be named after his predecessor, Scott Klapper.

Plans for a dedication ceremony are underway.

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Union Sportsmen’s Alliance union volunteers donated 175 hours to construct an observation platform overlooking a 5-acre pond on the Washtenaw Community College campus. (Union Sportsmen’s Alliance)

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Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.