Touring Delano’s Abandoned Mine Reclamation

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DELANO -- It's not that often that something abandoned gets brought back to life.

But that's what DEP officials did with an old mine reclamation site in Schuylkill County.

Ten acres of land has now been fixed up, made safer, and beautified.

It's the old coal mine reclamation site in Delano.

"We have a lot of hunters and fishers and recreational people that have access to the site that may not be aware of a hazard of a high wall being on here where you could potentially fall or slip," said John Stefanko, Department of Environmental Protection.

That's why the DEP started working on the site last April.

The roughly $200,000 project, paid for by the coal industry, consisted of back-filling high walls, removing spoil material and planting trees on the site.

Senator David Argall and Newswatch 16 had the opportunity to tour the old coal stripping site.

Senator Argall said for safety reasons, it's important that these abandoned reclamation sites get cleaned up.

"Literally, people get killed on these sites. It happens unfortunately all the time, and so it`s not just something that`s ugly to look at. It`s definitely a danger to the community," said Sen. Argall (R).

DEP officials said the work they`ve done at the abandoned coal stripping site has allowed life back into the site, and people who live around there agree and said that they`ve started to use the area more.

"You see more people walking around up there. We took a walk around the other day when it was nice, and they just did such a beautiful job on everything," said Dan Datchko of Delano.

Officials said you'll often see more birds and fish on the site these days.

Later on, the owners of the land could choose to develop it, but until then it will remain a formerly hazardous and now safe historic space for people and animals to roam free.

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