On May 24, 2016, Schuylkill Headwaters Association (SHA), the Pine Grove Borough (PGB), and the Schuylkill Conservation District (SCD), along with many great volunteers, reforested two acres of open land with 1,000 native tree seedlings. The planting took place on a plot of land owned by the PGB in Adams Run near Ravine. Roughly 15 volunteers from the partnering organizations and the local community dedicated their time and skills for about 4 hours to get the seedlings in the ground. Although this planting did not occur on abandoned mine lands, the same method was used for ground preparation. This Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) planting used the Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA) in order to ensure the success of the tree planting. By using the FRA approach, SHA has achieved over a 90 percent survival rate in these plantings over a span of 7 years. To date, this brings the total acres reforested to approximately 38 with over 43,000 trees across the county! SHA would like to thank all volunteers involved, as well as the PGB for providing a well-deserved lunch following the event!
On the first day of May, Schuylkill Headwaters Association, with help from many great volunteers, reforested two acres of abandoned mine land with 2,000 native seedlings. The tree planting took place on a plot of land owned by Mountaintop Coal near the Schuylkill County Airport. Roughly 35 volunteers were in attendance and worked hard for over 5 hours in the chilly weather to plant the seedlings. This Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) planting used the Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA) in order to ensure the success of the tree planting. The goals of using this approach are to plant more high-value hardwood trees on reclaimed coal mined lands in Appalachia, increase the survival rates and growth rates of planted trees, and expedite the establishment of forest habitat through natural succession. By using the FRA approach, SHA has achieved an over 90 percent survival rate in these plantings over a span of 6 years. To date, this brings the total acres planted to approximately 36 acres with over 42,000 trees across the county!
This year, SHA hosted two Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) tree plantings at land owned by Michael Coal Co. in Tremont, and at Silver Creek in New Philadelphia. An initiative by Office of Surface Mining (OSM), the ARRI project seeks to assist the process of mine land reclamation by reducing compaction in the soil and planting trees. This helps to hasten the return of the reclamation sites to native forest, reducing erosion and lessening the impacts of flooding.
In April, volunteers and professional foresters planted a total of 16,500 trees on 27 acres of reclaimed mine land owned by Michael Coal Co. Trees planted included White / Black / Chestnut oak, sugar maple, white pine, black cherry, black locust, persimmon, redbud, hazelnut, red mulberry, and black chokeberry. In addition, the American Chestnut Foundation donated American chestnut saplings and seedlings, which were planted on one acre of land to study blight resistance.
At Silver Creek, and AMD (Acid Mine Drainage) remediation site in New Philadelphia, volunteers planted 1250 trees on ~1.5 acres. Over 70 volunteers assisted at our tree planting events this year, including high school students from Pine Grove and cub scouts from Port Carbon.
In April of 2011, SHA worked with Mountaintop Coal Mining and Reading Anthracite to do two Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) tree plantings.
On April 29th, twenty five volunteers planted about 2,000 tree seedlings on a two acre site owned by Schuylkill County and leased by Mountaintop Coal Mining. On April 30th, fifty volunteers planted over 4,000 tree seedlings on a four acre site owned by Reading Anthracite.
Participants included students from Blue Mountain High School, Penn State Schuylkill and Pine Grove Area High School. Additionally, 15/16 backcross American Chestnut trees were planted at both sites. These trees will be resistant to the blight. Partners in the 2011 ARRI tree planting projects included DCNR Bureau of Forestry, DEP, Schuylkill Conservation District, and OSM. Pictures from the 2011 ARRI tree plantings will be posted on the SHA website soon! For more information about the ARRI program please visit www.arri.osmre.gov.