AMD & Art
AMD&Art Project in Vintondale PA 1995 -2005. Collaboration with Julie Bargmann, Landscape Architect. Robert Deason, Hydrogeologist and T. Allan Comp. Historian
Acid mine drainage pollutes hundreds of miles of streams in Pennsylvania. At Mine Number Six in Vintondale, in the coal mining region of south central Pennsylvania, artists, landscape architects, scientists and historians are collaborating on ways to treat AMD while interpreting the coal mining history and the passive treatment processes. This project creates a public park and water treatment facility.
Testing the Waters is a completely new method of designing a passive water treatment solution for Acid mine drainage, a nasty cocktail of heavy metals which seeps out the abandoned mines. Rather than a typical engineered solution, in this project we are both treating the water and showing the process. The Litmus Gardens, hedgerows of native trees and shrubs vivify the process of the water treatment, reflecting the color of the water as it progresses throughout the treatment basins from deep orange, to yellow and then to pea green. The design of the water treatment wetlands brings the massive scale of the mining operation back to the site, with raised plinths of soil demarcating the footprints of the original mine buildings. The final rinse of the water is through the series of wetlands allowing the water to slowly seep back into the Blacklick Creek.
The team has worked closely with the community through a series of neighborhood meetings and field days, planting trees with the boy scouts and working with the local high schools science curriculum