The Sciences + The Arts + The Humanities = The Solution
In 1994, Comp, working with Jeanne Gleason and others, brought together what the team scientist humorously named Team SPLASH (Sustainable Partnership of Landscape Architects, Scientists, and Historians). Realizing AMD is more than a purely scientific problem; Comp assembled the team of thinkers — artists, scientists, humanists — to explore with the community the opportunities for innovative AMD treatment.
We begin by treating the Acid Mine Drainage through a passive treatment system, relying on natural processes to raise the pH and remove the metals. This type of system has several benefits, including low overhead and maintenance costs. Passive treatment systems also provide more design opportunities, and can create new opportunities for historical, natural and scientific understanding.
The treatment system, indeed the entire design of the site, can be looked at as a piece of art - designed by a team working with the community to give form to community aspirations, not to prescribe solutions. More specific, public art pieces throughout the park provide historical perspective and an art-full celebration for sustainable community development in Vintondale. We hope AMD&ART serves others as a catalogue of ideas, a source of inspiration that will bring other projects like AMD&ART to the coal country of Appalachia and beyond.
Vintondale's AMD&ART Park is about more than just treating water; it is also about treating the whole community, preserving the past and building towards the future. Throughout the entire process, from original design development to the present day, the community has been deeply involved. This kind of involvement guarantees a communal feeling to the park and broad public support. Through the years, many residents have contributed their time and energy to the project. Without the assistance of Vintondale and other local community groups, the AMD&ART project would have never been possible. It is through continued community support and the involvement of every generation that AMD&ART becomes a trans-generational experience. The old tell stories inspired my images found in art installations on site and the young listen; learning from the past.
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