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Restoring Old Strip Mine Land

Mon May 2, 2011 / Abandoned Mine Drainage


In Schuylkill County a project is underway to restore land scarred by coal strip mining.

Several environmental groups teamed up with volunteers Friday to meet on what was once a strip mine near Minersville.

The strip mine hole has been filled in and the mission was to plant trees to help restore the land.

"When they do plant grasses, it'll be forest in hundreds of years and this will be a jump start on that process. It will be quicker returning to the natural hard wood forests we should have in this area," explained Megan Blackmon of Schuylkill Headwaters Association.

"I think it's fun that the people are actually trying to help out with the environment," said Kelsey Shappell of Blue Mountain High School.

The job of planting hundreds of trees in the rocky soil isn't an easy task.

"It's tough. It's tough to get it in but we had a good time hiking over the rocks and the puddles," said student Rachel Rieneke.

Planting the trees will benefit the students, their children and grandchildren.

"I think people years from now, that people think people back then didn't really care about the environment, didn't really think about the earth and have to fix it," said student Kyle Schuterm.

Officials said over the years they have planted thousands of trees over five acres of coal-scarred land and they hope to continue that program next year.