The JJ Collett Natural Area near Morningside has seen the recent installation of a new structure situated where trail Number 4 meets trail Number 6. The structure was created thanks to work done at Red Deer College’s carpentry shop.

New structure at JJ Collett ideal for picnics

Highlighting a new structure at the JJ Collett Natural Area south of Ponoka.


Have you noticed the new structure at The JJ Collett Natural Area? It’s on the east side of the natural area, where trail Number 4 meets trail Number 6.

It’s a perfect spot for a picnic lunch, or to stop for a rest or just to sit and enjoy the world around you. The timber framed open structure was donated to JJ Collett Natural Area by the Red Deer College (RDC) Carpentry Department; the result of a group professional development project involving college instructors last September.

With the help of Daniel Iseli-Otto of Bluffton, the six instructors (Larry Berge, Sam Church, Gary Halvorson, Walter Loov, Dwayne Rausch and Jim Thomson) learned about 3D software timber frame joinery and cutting, as well as actually raising the structure at the nature area near Morningside.

All of the layout, cutting, dry-fit, sanding and finishing was done at RDC’s Carpentry shop and then transported raised on location at JJ Collett.

Once complete, the wooden structure was oiled and a metal roof was added.

“It is a great addition to the area. People can stop and rest or get out of the sun for awhile,” explained foundation president Jack Surbey.

“And it looks really nice, too. Even the animals like it; an animal with horns did some rubbing on one of the posts.”

Established in 1985, the JJ Collett Provincial Natural Area is 635 acres with over 18 kilometres of maintained trails. It is used by individuals, local organizations, schools, post secondary institutions, First Nations, and fitness groups for field trips, studies and orienteering. You can find more information about JJ Collett Nature Area here:

The structure was recently dedicated in memory of long-time foundation director and volunteer, Severin Iseli.