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Juniper Floor Project

The River Center applied and received funding from the McConnell Foundation through the Shasta Regional Community Foundation process. The proposal included the use of a local and sustainable forest product and use of local harvesting, milling and installation contractors for a juniper floor in the River Center.

Floor Material
Once the funding became approved, River Center staff ordered the juniper floor material from Mark Channel of Specialized Lumber. He needed 2 to 3 months lead time to make sure that the lumber cured properly. Moisture content in juniper lumber represents a key criterion in determining a quality product. Modoc Lumber provided a dry kiln for properly drying the juniper lumber.

Several installers were contacted for estimates in installing the juniper floor. Dederick’s Custom Woodworking was selected based on price and several positive references. John Dederick needed a three month lead time for scheduling due to high demand for his services.

Dates Set
By January, a project date was set for the week of March 12. Recruiting volunteers for packing display and office materials into storage was the next step. Three advertisements called for volunteer participation in a ‘Pack-it-Up’ and ‘Rip-n-Tear’ Day on March 10. Word of mouth and contact with teachers at Modoc High School served as additional recruitment methods.

Carol Sharp
Volunteer, Carol Sharp, cleaning up after the carpet tear out.
John Dederick
John Dederick installing floor boards.

On March 9, two River Center Board members arrived at the River Center to begin packing display items. Sophie Sheppard had assembled the mounted bird display when the River Center was constructed. She disassembled the display and stored the mounted birds. Barbie Moklestad taped plastic over the wall mounted displays. Valerie Lantz, River Center Executive Director, packed the office equipment and supplies and moved them to temporary quarters at the CMRCD office.

March 10 brought forth five volunteers: Heather Markson, Davis Wellman, Jerry Hoxsey, Carol Sharp and Randy Sharp. The volunteers worked all day, from 8 AM to 4 PM, stopping for quick lunch break (pizza from Antonio’s).

By the end of the day, all the furniture, supplies and materials were in a temporary storage unit and the carpet was removed. The pad and staples were also removed. Mark Channel delivered the lumber so it could acclimate to the building conditions.


John Dederick began installing the tongue and groove juniper boards on March 12. He and his helper meticulously measured and installed each floor board. Next came the sanding…a messy but crucial step to insure a smooth floor and proper finish adhesion. Cleaning dust from the floor was the next step. Applying five coats of poly-urethane finish made a nice glossy finish. The finish cured for several days. Trim was added.

The floor project continued with a thorough cleaning of the River Center. Display materials and office furnishings were brought in with help from Bryon Hadwick and John Tvrdevish of CMRCD. Maintenance staff from Modoc National Wildlife Refuge assembled office furnishings and shelving for storage.

Doors Reopened
The River Center doors reopened to the public on April 2. The week of April 2 included six visits from Alturas Elementary classes – a great test for the new floor!

Thank You
A BIG THANK YOU to everyone involved in the project! Visitors at the River Center comment on how beautiful the floor looks – come see for your self!

Shasta Regional Community Foundation
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