A Model for Mine-Scarred Land Reclamation and Reutilization
Organizational Summary through 2016
Vision Statement: EC will lead and partner with communities in the reclamation of mine-scarred lands and streams, returning strong economic, environmental, and social value by creating a well-planned vibrant valley, protected by green ridge tops.
Mission Statement: Earth Conservancy is a nonprofit organization committed to the reclamation and return of 16,000 acres of former coal company-owned land to the region. It collaborates with local communities, government agencies, educational institutions, and the private sector to spearhead the creation and implementation of plans that restore the land's economic, recreational, residential, and ecological value. To achieve this objective, Earth Conservancy:
1. Develops sustainable land-use plans
2. Commits to provide 10,000 acres for recreation and open space
3. Leads reclamation efforts of mine-scarred lands and water resources, and guides their reutilization
4. Funds its work through sale of ECs land and other resources, and through public and private sector partners
5. Partners with local communities to achieve our mission
6. Educates the community-at-large on environmental issues, the benefits of reclamation, and effective land-use planning.
Vision and Mission Statement
In Total: 49 Projects / $47,353,000 invested
Board of Directors & Officers
Chairman John D. McCarthy, Jr.
President McCarthy Tire Service Co.
Vice-Chairman Rev. John J. Ryan, CSC, PhD
President, Kings College
Treasurer Thomas E. Lawson, PE, PLS
EVP Client Development & Quality Borton-Lawson Engineering
Secretary Daryl Pawlush
Projects Principal Penn Eastern Engineering
President/CEO Michael A. Dziak
John E. Cavanaugh, Jr. President
Central Clay Product Co.
Kelly M. Ciravolo, Esq. Anzalone Law Offices
Joseph A. Frank, Jr. President
Centralia Coal Co.
Michael J. Johnson Realtor (retired)
Thomas P. Leary President, Luzerne County
Kathy L. Pape President, Pennsylvania
American Water Co.
Joseph C. Hillan Supervisor, Newport Twp.
Dept. of Public Works
Holly T. Frederick, PhD, PE Associate Professor, Environmental
Engineering, Wilkes University
Past Board Directors
Original Earth Conservancy Board of Directors
Christopher Breiseth* A. Peter Kanjorski (deceased)
James Manley (deceased) Herbert Nash (deceased) Harold Rose (deceased)
Susan Shoval Harold Snowdon, Jr. (deceased)
Eleanor Winsor Joseph Yudichak
Margaret Bakker Stephen Barrouk
Thomas Blaskiewicz Robert Ciaruffoli Mark Dingman*
Joseph Frank, Sr. (deceased) Joseph Gilmour
Anne Glauber (deceased) Joseph A. Hillan (deceased)
Diane Kopcha Katlic Rev. James Lackenmier
Gary Lamont John Larson
Robert Matley Bernard McGurl Robert Mericle
John Moran (deceased) Lawrence Newman Rev. Thomas OHara
Edward Schechter (deceased) Rhea Simms*
Marleen A. Troy
Past Members of the Board of Directors
* Served as Board of Directors Chairperson
Land Activities to Date
Land Holdings (purchased 1994) 16,496 acres @ cost of $14.6 million* Sold 7,899 acres valued @ $30.5 million (over 500 transactions)
Donated 289 acres valued @ $3 million
Total acres sold or donated 8,289 acres
Total acres remaining 8,207 acres
* Direct Return to Community = $8 million local taxes, $3.7 million State/Federal government, $2.4 million Black Lung Fund Annually, over $630,000 of real estate taxes is generated from Earth Conservancy properties that have been reclaimed and sold for productive use.
Open Space/Recreation Open Space: objective 10,000 acres, to date 6,300 acres Recreation Fields: soccer/football/all-purpose fields, 35 acres Trails: three trail systems, 20 miles
Industrial/Commercial Lands (786 acres) Hanover Crossings / Hanover Industrial Estates expansion Hanover 9 Bliss/Truesdale (1,000+ acres, future)
Residential (1,203 acres) Hanover Fairway Hills; Nuangola Woodland Acres; hundreds of individual lots sold Large parcels available in Sugar Notch, Hanover Township, Plymouth Township, and Newport Township
Transportation Initiatives South Valley Parkway: 3.5 miles @ estimated cost of $84 million Route 115/Exit 168: connector road being re-evaluated
Land Use Planning
1996 Land Use Plan
1999 Wyoming Valley Open Space Master Plan
1999 Mixed Use Master Plan/South Valley Parkway Project
2003 Interstate 81 Exit 168/Route 115 Connector Road Master Plan
2005 All-Terrain Vehicle Feasibility Study
2006 Plymouth Township Land Use Feasibility Study
2008 Reuse Analysis and Sustainable Redevelopment Framework for Earth Conservancy South Valley Corridor Lands
2012 Hanover Crossings Phases 3 and 4 & Hanover 9 Land Use Plan
Complete copies of ECs land use plans can be found on our website, www.earthconservancy.org
The Land Use Plan | 1996
Identified 3,000 mine-scarred acres that will cost an estimated $200 million to reclaim
Earmarked 2,200 acres for economic development; 2,800 acres for residential development; and 10,000 acres for open space
Proposed new transportation system that will create safer and easier access to community amenities, developable land and future reclamation sites
Note: All colored land parcels are owned by EC Green circle connotes initial reclamation focus Orange circle connotes secondary reclamation focus Red circle connotes future reclamation focus
1. The 15 acres of Franklin Bank, adjacent to a residential neighborhood, were covered in large piles of mine spoils. Here, construction vehicles work on earthmoving operations. 2. Aerial view of the reclaimed Franklin Bank site. 3. In 2010, Franklin Bank was purchased by a private developer, who is currently constructing approximately 45 two-story duplex homes on the site.
2009 | 15 acres | Hanover Township
Project Cost: $337,000
Funded by USEPA and Earth Conservancy
Greater Hanover Area Recreation Park
1. Aerial view of site prior to reclamation activities. 2. Reclamation activities during Phase I of the project. 3. Aerial view of the completed Greater Hanover Area Recreational Park and the Sugar Notch reclamation project, which includes the Sugar Notch Trail System.
2011 | 65 acres Hanover Township & Sugar Notch
Project Cost: $1.9 million
Funded by USDA, PADEP, PADOT, PADCED, Luzerne County,
Private & In-kind Contributions, and Earth Conservancy
Huber III & Huber IV
1. Aerial view of the Huber Bank prior to reclamation. 2. Aerial view of the reclaimed Huber site. 3. In 2014, Huber III and IV were sold to an international development company. In 2016, Northpoint Development purchased the site. Construction is now underway on one of the three buildings in the 2 million SF industrial park.
2013 | 185 acres | Hanover Township
Project Cost: $9.4 million
Funded by PADCED and Earth Conservancy
1. Section of Hanover 9, pre-construction. The site was marred by deep mining pits, filled with stagnant water. 2. View of constructed wetlands on Phase I of Hanover 9. 3. View of reclaimed site. Older-growth trees were preserved during work.
2014 | 149 acres Hanover Township & the City of Nanticoke
Project Cost: $1.6 million
Funded by PADEP, USEPA, and Earth Conservancy
Bliss Bank, Phase I
1. View of the mine spoils on Bliss Bank, Phase I. 2. After grading, the site was covered with a layer of topsoil prior to seeding. 3. View from the completed Phase I reclamation project. A large detention basin can be seen at right.
2016 | 36 acres | Newport Township
Project Cost of $1.6 million
Funded by PADEP, USEPA, and Earth Conservancy
South Valley Parkway Project
Now under construction, the South Valley Parkway was originally proposed in Earth Conservancys Land Use Plan in 1996.
The intent of the South Valley Parkway (SVP) was to create a safe route to and from Luzerne County Community College and into Newport Township, and to remove heavy traffic from Middle Road and nearby residential areas in Hanover Township. The roadway, which will begin at
Exit 2 of S.R. 29 and end near Kosciuszko Street, will consist of 3.5 miles of new road, upgrades to existing roads, and improvements to sections of Middle Road - including roundabouts at Kosciuszko, Espy, and Prospect Streets - to ease congestion at intersections. The SVP will also
give access to thousands of acres of Earth Conservancys reclaimed lands like Hanover 9 and Bliss Bank.
Roundabout at Espy Street Completed bridge section Continued work on bridge
Espy Run Wetlands & Enhancement
2008 | AMD Mitigation | Hanover Township
Project Cost of $240,000
Funded by USEPA and Earth Conservancy
1. AMD pooled near Espy Run through a seep. 2. Systems inlet trough, where water enters into the settling ponds from the Espy discharge. 3. Cleaner water flows from the settling ponds via an outlet into a polishing c