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Date: April 11, 2024

Contact: Nanci Bross-Fregonara, Communications Director, Kump Education Center

 

ELKINS-The Kump Education Center, Elkins, is hosting the final Woodlands Heritage Lecture, “From Coal Mine to Forest: The Mower Tract Revival,” on Wednesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. with Kris Hennig, U.S. Forest Service Partnership Coordinator, in the historic Kump House lower level. This lecture is part of a series of monthly lectures supported by a grant from the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area. It complements the current Wild, Wonderful Woods interpretive display at the Kump House.


Hennig will discuss the history, natural community, and restoration of Randolph County’s Mower Tract, a 40,000-acre area located within the Monongahela National Forest.


“An extensive partnership supported restoration effort, over 15 years in the making, is transforming this formerly mined and heavily impacted landscape into an area of recreational and ecological significance,” Hennig said. Since its inception, the Mower Tract restoration effort has planted over 800,000 native plants and constructed thousands of wetlands on nearly 1,500 acres of mined lands. These activities are restoring the mature red spruce ecosystem that these lands historically hosted back upon the landscape; to the benefit of wildlife, aquatic and forest health, and the public.


“In the early 2000’s, the U.S. Forest Service was a founding member in the Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative (CASRI), a group that has grown to include 20+ partnering agencies and organizations. These restoration efforts started small, but collaborations within CASRI has helped grow and evolve our restoration practices to maximize the success and ecological outcomes of these efforts”. he said. “The Mower Tract is a great example of what can happen when land management, partnerships, research, and volunteerism come together,” he said.


The Woodlands Heritage Lecture Series focuses on the value of the Appalachian Highlands forests, from the centuries-old bison trails to how they affect current and future West Virginia preservation, recreation, and economic initiatives.


The lectures are free and open to the public. Attendees will also be able to explore the historic Kump House and the Wild, Wonderful Woods exhibits. The Kump House is located at 401 Randolph Ave., Elkins (across from Kroger), with parking access in the rear accessible by Seneca Road.


For more information about the KEC, visit kumpeducationcenter.org, the Kump Education Center FB page, or email kumpec@gmail.com. The AFNHA grants were made possible by National Heritage Area funding through the National Park Service.

 

CUTLINE:

The final Woodlands Heritage Lecture on Wednesday, April 17, 7 p.m. at the Kump Education Center will feature Kris Henning, U.S. Forest Service Partnership Coordinator speaking on “From Coal Mine to Forest: The Mower Tract Revival.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

 



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Date: March 9, 2024

Contact: Nanci Bross-Fregonara, Communications Director, Kump Education Center

 

ELKINS-The Kump Education Center, Elkins, is hosting the third Woodlands Heritage Lecture “Nature and the Economy in Appalachia” Wednesday, March 20 at 7 p.m. with Eriks Brolis, Director of Economic Development and Strategic Initiatives at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) of WV in the historic Kump House. This lecture is part of a series of monthly lectures supported by a grant from the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area and complements the current Wild, Wonderful Woods interpretive display at the Kump House.


Brolis will discuss the importance of nature-based economic development and TNC’s climate mitigation efforts in West Virginia.


“Nature is one of West Virginia’s greatest assets,” he said. “Our forests and rivers provide drinking water, clean air and outdoor adventures to millions of people in the eastern United States, and these incredible natural resources can contribute to securing a stable and diversified economic future for the Mountain State.”


He further noted: “We can sustain the extensive forests and rivers, and the services they provide to people, in ways that support the creation of much-needed, well-paying jobs. These revenue streams support state and local budgets, providing even basic municipal services. We can also expand opportunities for nature-based recreation for residents and tourists alike seeking rejuvenation in the great outdoors.”


The Woodlands Heritage Lecture Series focuses on the importance of the Appalachian Highlands forests, from the centuries-old bison trails to how it affects current and future West Virginia preservation and economic initiatives.


The final lecture in the series will be “From Coal Mine to Forest: The Mower Tract Revival” Wednesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. with Kris Hennig, Partnership Coordinator, U.S. Forest Service.

 

The lectures are free and open to the public. Attendees will also be able to explore the historic Kump House and the Wild, Wonderful Woods exhibits. The Kump House is located at 401 Randolph Ave., Elkins (across from Kroger) with parking access in the rear accessible by Seneca Road.

 

For more information about the KEC, visit kumpeducationcenter.org, the Kump Education Center FB page or email kumpec@gmail.com. The AFNHA grants were made possible by National Heritage Area funding through the National Park Service.



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Date: February 9, 2024

Contact: Nanci Bross-Fregonara, Communications Director, Kump Education Center

 



ELKINS-The Kump Education Center, Elkins, is hosting the second Woodlands Heritage Lecture “Nature’s New Deal: The Monongahela National Forest and the New Deal” Wednesday, February 21 at 7 p.m. with Robert C. Whetsell, Archeologist, U.S. Forest Service in the historic Kump House. This lecture is part of a series of monthly lectures supported by a grant from the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area and complements the current Wild, Wonderful Woods interpretive display at the Kump House.


Whetsell will discuss how the New Deal aided the development of the Monongahela National Forest during one of the darkest economic periods in American history and its lasting legacy.


“Although established in April 1920, the Monongahela National Forest grew to become the national forest it is today because of the New Deal,” Whetsell explains.

“Funding and manpower provided by New Deal programs of the Roosevelt Administration between 1933 and 1942, led to forest-wide conservation and fire control efforts, development of modern recreation areas, improvement of roads and communication across the forest, and the expansion of the forest though land acquisition,” he said.


The Woodlands Heritage Lecture Series focuses on the importance of the Appalachian Highlands forests, from the centuries-old bison trails to how it affects current and future West Virginia preservation and economic initiatives.

Additional lectures in the series include: “Nature and the Economy in Appalachia” Wednesday, March 20 at 7 p.m. with Eriks Brolis, Director of Economic Development & Strategic Initiatives at The Nature Conservancy of West Virginia; and “From Coal Mine to Forest: The Mower Tract Revival” Wednesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. with Kris Hennig, Partnership Coordinator, U.S. Forest Service.

 

The lectures are free and open to the public. Attendees will also be able to explore the historic Kump House and the Wild, Wonderful Woods exhibits. The Kump House is located at 401 Randolph Ave., Elkins (across from Kroger) with parking access in the rear accessible by Seneca Road.


CUTLINE: The February Woodlands Heritage Lecture Feb. 21 at the Kump Education Center will feature Robert C. Whetsell, Archeologist, U.S. Forest Service speaking on “Nature’s New Deal: Monongahela National Forest and the New Deal.” The lecture will include historic photos such as this postcard view of the Alpena Gap Picnic Area on Shaver’s Mountain between Bowden and Alpena. It was the first of many recreation sites completed by the CCC in the 1930s in the Monongahela National Forest. Photo courtesy USDA/Forest Service.

 

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