Community members invited to tour sites highlighting current work with Rural Action

Trimble, Ohio — Community members are invited to join Rural Action’s Sunday Creek Watershed for the annual Sunday Creek Watershed Tour on Friday, July 7, 2017.  During the tour, participants will learn about the Millfield Mine disaster, acid mine drainage affecting the region, possible solutions to the acid mine drainage problem with an artistic flair, and tour the Tom Jenkins Dam at Burr Oak.

The tour begins at the Rural Action Community and Education Center located at 19627 Walnut Street in Trimble, Ohio 45782 at 10am and will conclude around 3pm. The suggested donation is $10 per attendee. Lunch and morning snacks will be provided. Please register by July 5th at or by calling 740-767-2225.

The tour will begin with a viewing of the new film “Millfield Mine Disaster of 1930” by Burr Beard, a master’s student at Ohio University in the School of Media and Arts Studies. This documentary is all about the Sunday Creek Coal Company’s mine disaster, which was the worst in the state’s history and killed 82 men.

Additional tour stops include Corning, where participants will learn about acid mine drainage in the region and creative solutions to combat the problem. Guest speaker, Dr. Guy Riefler, a professor at Ohio University specializing in Environmental Engineering, will share plans for a new pilot project at the Corning Discharge site. Feeling creative? Guest artist and art professor at Ohio University, John Sabraw, has been working with Guy Riefler to create paint pigments from acid mine drainage. He will lead a short painting lesson on canvas.

The tour will next venture to Tom Jenkins Dam where Ranger Bob Cifranic will lead a tour of the dam. Tom Jenkins Dam is a cultural dam in Athens County that was completed in 1950 and created Burr Oak Lake.

The last stop will be the Millfield Mine disaster site, where Cheryl Blosser of the Little Cities of Black Diamonds will share more stories.  The culture, history, and environmental and economic impacts of coal are powerfully intertwined in this region and this tour will explore how all this has led to the reclamation work done today. All tour stops will be within the Sunday Creek Watershed, a 139 square mile area where Rural Action has been working for more than 15 years to address acid mine drainage and abandoned mineland issues, the legacy left behind by pre-regulation mining. Through partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies, local villages and landowners, regional universities, and other non-profit organizations, more than $9 million has been invested in 30 reclamation and treatment projects in the Sunday and Monday Creek Watersheds.

Rural Action is a member-based sustainable community development organization. Their mission is to foster social, economic, and environmental justice in Appalachian Ohio. Learn more about Rural Action at You can also keep up with their work on Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, and Instagram.

Tour participants visit a reclamation site at a past tour. Image provided by Rural Action

Acid mine drainage at the Corning Discharge site. The water gets its orange tint from the high concentrations of iron coming from the underground minepool. Image provided by Rural Action.



Meredith Price-Mullins
Ohio Stream Restore Corps AmeriCorps member with Sunday Creek Watershed

On June 20th, 2017, posted in: Latest News by