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Kump Education Center to Host Final Woodlands Heritage Lecture


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, the Kump Education Center FB page, or email The AFNHA grants were made possible by National Heritage Area funding through the National Park Service.



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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