SHARPLES, W.Va. — Recently, Mountain Laurel Complex hosted its annual Earth Day event for the 5th grade students of Jeffrey Spencer Elementary School (Mountain Laurel’s partner in education) and Ramage Elementary School. Students interacted with employee volunteers, heard from environmental experts and participated in a number of activities. They learned first-hand the importance of responsible mining practices and how environmental protection is incorporated into every phase of the mining process.
Guest speakers were Roger Wolfe from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), as well as James Stanton and Shawn Huffman, two representatives from Decota Consulting Company Inc.
Throughout the day, students planted five apple trees near the mine administration office and explored a nearby stream while Huffman and Stanton explained the complexities of the stream habitat. Later on in the day, live fish, bugs, worms and more were brought to the mine office for the indoor portion of the presentation. During this time, students were able to see the bugs, fish and other creatures from the stream up close and ask questions about stream mitigation techniques.
“It is a joy to watch the kids have fun while they learn about nature,” Terri Harwood, HR supervisor at Mountain Laurel Complex, said. “They ask good questions and are truly interested in understanding more about what we do at Mountain Laurel. We are happy to host the students and proud to share our commitment to exemplary environmental protection and the important role it plays in our daily operations.”