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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Glenville State students reforesting Yeager Airport's slopes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Students from Glenville State University's Land Resources Department began work Friday on what will be a multi-year program to reforest and help control erosion on 82 acres of land disturbed by runway and taxiway construction at Charleston's Yeager Airport.

After a ceremonial planting of spruce trees on a grassy slope where the airport's property abuts Coonskin Park's Elk River Trail, the Glenville State students toured construction-affected areas and erosion-control features on the slopes below Yeager's runways.

Construction-related erosion problems have caused headaches for airport officials, who have passed along to their contractor more than $15,000 in fines and $21,000 in corrective work after being cited more than a dozen times for slides and other runoff woes.

Earlier this year, a 20-foot-deep landslide covered the site of Friday's ceremonial tree planting and blocked a segment of the Elk River Trail. The landslide has been cleared and the trail has reopened.

"We're going to be trying to stop the issue of erosion here," said Glenville State senior Robert Jackson of Fayette County. "With all this construction, the land needs something to help hold the soil up. You can sit down anywhere and read about erosion, but being able to come here and see these steep slopes and how erosion has affected them makes it a lot more real."

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The painting is by Laura Tasheiko

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