Mine water stained rocks along Solomon Creek in Hanover Twp., one of several spots in Northeast Pennsylvania where mining has polluted the water.


Wyoming Seminary students are calling attention to the ongoing efforts to clean up decades of mining-related pollution in area waterways.

Students toured the Solomon Creek watershed then created artwork using recycled iron oxide pigments to focus awareness to the problem. The art exhibit was carried out by Wyoming Seminary Upper School’s Environmental STEM Class under the direction of Dr. Andrea Nerozzi. The acid mine drainage-related work was coordinated by the Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation, Ashley. EPCAMR has done many acid mine drainage abatement and education programs. Nerozzi’s students collaborated with Beth Burkhauser’s Interdependence Hexagon Project and EPCAMR.

The goal is to use art expression to change perspectives of local waterways that remain polluted from mining practices. The students were given a tour of the Solomon Creek Watershed in the Wyoming Valley by Bobby Hughes, EPCAMR executive director. Hughes explained the rich history of mining, pivotal decisions that came with dire consequences and disasters that have led to the challenges that local waterways face, decades after decline of the mining industry.

Sudents utilized EPCAMR’s recycled iron oxide pigments in their artwork created on hexagon canvases to give perspective of what they had seen during the outdoor experiences. They painted what they thought should be showcased to help increase awareness of the state of local waterways and the importance of protecting, conserving and cleaning them up, Hughes said.

The students studied how waterways can be restored, including treatment systems to clean water, extraction of resources from sediment such as pigments and rare earth elements and use of outfall water for production of geothermal, electricity.

The exhibit will run through November at Sem’s Kirby Center for Creative Arts in Kingston.