Over 350 thousand acres of land in West Virginia and 574 thousand acres in Kentucky are impacted by surface mining. Post-surface mine land in Central Appalachia represents a vastly underutilized resource which, if restored and used more effectively, will drive economic activity, help diversify the local economy, and generate jobs.
We employ a diverse set of regenerative strategies
to create lasting change
Sustainable agricultural operations put marginal land to productive use while stimulating the local economy. In order to effectively use this land, we are prepared to creatively work through soil building challenges, appropriate crop selection, and the development of value added products for increased returns.
Establishing wind and solar facilities on mine land provides opportunities for productive use. Additionally, trials have shown that biomass crops such as switchgrass and miscanthus can be grown effectively on post-mine sites. Our goal is to scale production and demonstrate viable business models and supply chains for such crops produced on mine sites for bioenergy and bio-based products.
As a non-food crop, cut flowers are ideal for transitioning former mine lands back to productive use. In addition to being one of the most profitable field crops that can be grown, specialty cut flowers serve as a striking illustration of regenerative land use.
Grazing livestock on mine sites has the power to regenerate degraded soils. All of our livestock management plans are based around holistic management practices that can help mitigate and even reverse environmental damage.
Community gardens not only improve access to healthy, locally produced food, but also enhance community development through meaningful social interactions. Our gardens will serve as a location to host workshops and educational programs centered around food, health, and the outdoors.
Change is made by integrating a diverse range of people from inside and outside the community. Trust and meaningful relationships are built by engaging with multiple stake holders at the local level. We engage with local churches, development authorities, government, and schools to build strong connections. Our projects serve as models for community driven restoration-based economic development.
Service learning promotes a valuable exchange of ideas that benefits both participants and host communities. We offer volunteer groups the opportunity to contribute to our projects by performing restorative work for the environment and community that often has just as deep an impact on the participants themselves.