Blue skies and bright sunshine provided the perfect backdrop for an Earth Day celebration. Alpha and its Brooks Run West office hosted a field trip complete with cookout for Logan Middle School’s six grade students.
Alpha provided each student with an Earth Day t-shirt and a backpack with some items tucked inside to take home .
The students were taken on a tour of the North Surface mine, with someone on the bus to explain everything they were seeing, which included witnessing a shot; a full spread of equipment, including a super-size rock truck and dozer, working on reclamation activities at two locations and an impoundment. The students thought the shot going off was the most impressive thing on the tour, almost without exception.
After the tour, the students were broken up into groups to take turns planting 300 oak trees with WV Delegate Justin Marcum, Adam Jewell; learning about water and chemicals used in the water from Scott Marcum and Mike Murphy from Enviro Mine; a lesson about electricity from Steve Smith and Stan Wonnell and it was topped off with a cookout.
Mike Gillum and other representatives from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) were also with the students to answer questions and explain processes.
Employees from the Brooks Run West office, located at Holden, worked together to coordinate moving the students from activity to activity, answering questions and and preparing lunch.
“Today has been a learning experience for them—and me,” said event organizer Joey Elia.
Shelby Sanson said there were nearly 200 students who took park in the celebration.
According to a PBS article, the first Earth Day was organized by former U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970 as a way to bring environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Organizers expect more than a billion people in 192 countries to take part in the 2013 celebrations.