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Vintondale AMD&ART introduces
Vision Planning Workshops

Vintondale plans its future

At a Vision Planning Community meeting on August 30 Vintondale AMD (acid mine drainage) and Art was introduced to Vision Planning Workshops set to look into the future of Vintondale Borough. The first workshop, called Issues & Opportunities, was held September 6. Vintondale past and present and the best of Vintondale now were topics considered, along with issues and concerns, opportunities and resources, vision and goals. Participants were asked to mark their favorite places on a large-scale map and work with neighbors, family, and friends to list current issues and concerns, examining their vision for Vintondale 20, 30, and 40 years from now.

Photos and articles about community events are being collected along with old photos of buildings and street scenes. Residents are being asked to note favorite childhood and high school hangouts, family gathering places and activities, community traditions they have enjoyed and valued.

“Vision Planning is a way of thinking about the future and managing change. Vision planning workshops and activities are organized to identify opportunities for economic growth that is sensitive to the traditions, quality of life, and environmental quality of a community,” an announcement for the first workshop said. “The expected results of Vision Planning workshops are project and policy documents that will support funding request and development guidelines specific to the needs of the community.”

For the second Vision Planning Workshop, scheduled for October 2, the AMD&ART staff will prepare a preliminary set of drawings and documents based on the information gathered in Workshop 1. Workshop activities at that meeting will ask residents to compare ideas, point out strengths and weaknesses, suggest changes, and list priorities. Participants will be asked to develop a preliminary set of indicators to measure progress toward the future they envision.

A third workshop is planned to consider the feedback from Workshop 2, date as yet to be announced. The staff will prepare revised drawings and documents at that time, and small groups will be formed to review the revisions and suggest further changes. Residents will be asked to sign up to continue work on one or more specific projects. Project groups will be formed and strategies for implementation will begin.

Vintondale's AMD&ART acid mine drainage project was awarded a $50,000 grant last year by the Vera Heinz Endowment Foundation to abate acid mine drainage along the south branch of Blacklick Creek and promote community beautification. The Heinz grant was earmarked to pay for a litmus garden, which will be a series of trees along the ponds that cleanse the water of acidity. The color of the trees will gradually progress from red-orange to green-blue, to reflect the change in water quality from acidic to clean.

AMD&ART is a nonprofit environmental group organized to work for remedying acid mine drainage from abandoned mines. The organization designs treatment systems as community parks that can be used for recreation and education. The Vintondale project will include a new baseball field, soccer fields, horseshoe pits, and walking trails. The project is part of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protectionís comprehensive plan for abandoned mine reclamation for the south branch of Blacklick Creek. Project coordinators project completion of the program by this winter.

For more information, call AMD&ART at 814 539-5357 or e-mail amdart@gte.net.

Additional information is available online on the state's web site:

http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/polycomm/update/12-03-99/12039918.htm

The project has come to national attention via reports on CNN cable television news, but their reports are not, unfortunately, indexed on the CNN worldwide web site.


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