More About Us

The people and landscapes of Appalachia have always been adaptive and resilient. Recent declines in the coal industry have left many former coal workers unsure of their future, and thousands of acres of mining-impacted land have either been left unreclaimed or are not meeting their economic or ecological potential. Reclaim Appalachia exists to convert mining-impacted lands in Central Appalachia into sustainable economic development sites by tapping into the resiliency and work ethic of former miners and other coalfield workers. They are trained to restore landscapes while building profitable businesses in the fields of agriculture, forestry, renewable energy, and advanced technology, all carried out through the Coalfield Development "33-6-3" model and in partnership with other Coalfield Development enterprises such as Refresh Appalachia.

 

Check out the links below for more in-depth info about our project sites.

22 Mine Road

Reclaim's first operational site is located adjacent to the Buck Harless Wood Products Industrial Park in Holden, WV on property owned by the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority. On about 50 acres of land that was mountaintop mined and reclaimed in the late 1990s, Reclaim and Refresh Appalachia have partnered to develop the region's active commercial agroforestry site. Here, a diverse set of orchard species including blackberries, hazelnuts, lavender, and pawpaws are intensively managed to produce highly profitable yields, while chickens, hogs, goats, and honeybees are managed with "rotational grazing" techniques. This allows the site to build soil organic matter and store soil carbon while generating healthy financial returns. Reclaim intends to replicate the model being developed at this pilot site on several more mined properties and at a larger scale.

Lower Burning Creek

Aquaponics is defined as the simultaneous production of tank-grown fish along with vegetables that are grown in a hydroponic bed of circulating water, where the vegetables feed on the nutrients from the fish waste and need little to no additional inputs. Reclaim and Refresh have partnered with the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority to develop a solar-powered aquaponics facility in Kermit, WV on a piece of abandoned mined land property. In addition to creating several full time jobs in the direct operation of the aquaponics facility, this project will also remediate two open mine portals that pose a health hazard to the nearby community. The model could be replicated on other AML properties throughout the region, assuming that access to clean water is available.

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We remediate abandoned and dilapidated properties sustainably.

To overcome environmental contamination challenges encountered in old buildings, Reclaim Appalachia has developed a remediation curriculum which includes water, soil and air sampling skill-sets as well as asbestos and lead abatement. These skill-sets are put to use reclaiming and redeveloping former mine lands.

We convert former mine lands into community and economic assets.

Former mine lands constitute a major land-use and environmental problem for the region and a trained workforce is needed to convert this problem into an opportunity. Reclaim Appalachia has prevented over 450,000 square feet of building material from entering landfills.

What Our Trainees Think About Us

"It's a great group of people. We're all here for the one goal of bettering ourselves. They are setting you up to succeed in life."

Jared Blaylock-quote
Jared Blaylock

"They send you through college and help you out. It's like another family. Everybody does their job and works together."

Jessica Varney-quote
Jessica Varney

"My main goal is to be able to make my own living doing what I like to do; in a place that I can raise my family and support myself at the same time. If you're thinking about signing up, don't wait."

Tracey Spalding-quote
Tracey Spalding

Rebuilding the Appalachian economy from the ground up.