Aidan White sits on a replacement bench he built in the Pileated Woods to replace one which was damaged by vandals. -Image credit: Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer

Park bench replaced with pride

Unwilling to stand for the loss of his favourite bench in the Pileated Woods, Aidan White built a replacement.

White lives near and often visits the unique, community-maintained interpretive park/trail system located between Auto and Old Auto roads. He says his favourite spot in the park is a crest along the Owl’s Prowl trail overlooking 7th Street SE and the downtown.

“On that trail, there’s this bench, and I sit on this bench a lot; it’s probably my favourite spot in town,” said White.

But sometime over winter, White’s favourite vantage point was diminished with the destruction of the bench.

“It got broken and it was shoved off to the side and, eventually, I think the city or somebody cleaned it up. But the bench was broken,” said White. “That sucked a lot.”

In the spirit of Pileated Woods, White decided he would build a replacement bench.

“So I never made a bench before or anything,” said White. “I looked up online how to make a bench and I got the wood together, I had it all cut and started screwing the bench together,” said White.

During the building process, White said he remembered Canada Day was coming up. This helped him decide what colours to paint the bench: red and white.

“I figured that it was kind of in the Canadian spirit to go and create something, to fix something, to do it,” said White.

While the bench wasn’t technically difficult to build, the process was a bit of an eye-opener for White, who said he hadn’t done any woodworking projects since Grade 8.

“It’s more complicated than it looks,” said White.“It’s a lot more physical work, because I as thinking it would just be screwing boards together, but painting it and putting it all together out in the sun – I must have lost a couple of pounds.”

The 2017 SAS grad says he’s maybe interested in pursuing writing, not carpentry, in post secondary. But he’s pleased to see his woodwork project receive positive community response via Facebook.

“My mom put it up on Facebook –a lot of people were talking about it. It’s cool,” said White.