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Environmental Professionals Network

School of Environment and Natural Resources


EPN Summer Field Trip Series - Friday, July 19, 2024: Coal Transitions: An Ecosystem Restoration and Cultural History Tour of Ohio’s Coal Country

Big Muskie Bucket

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Program Overview

Reductions in coal production and consumption occurring unevenly around the world are driving a wide variety of social, economic, political, and environmental impacts. There is an urgent need to coordinate academic and policy work focused on coal transitions and foster mutual understanding and sharing of insights from diverse transition experiences. The ecosystem restoration and cultural preservation activities underway in eastern Ohio, coordinated by an abundance of local, state and regional environmental professionals and organizations, point the way for our region’s approach to coal transitions.

Join this EPN Summer Field Trip event, in partnership with the Global Coal Transitions Research Network (, to gather hands-on experience, knowledge, and networking at the following learning locations:

  • Ecosystem restoration and wildlife mangement at The Wilds
  • Cultural and coal extraction history at the Miner's Memorial Park in Jesse Owens State Park and eat lunch in Big Muskie Bucket
  • Learn about the community and economic development strategies facilitated by the Little Cities of Black Diamonds Council


This agenda is subject to change in lead up to July 19th. Light breakfast, boxed lunches, snacks and water will be provided throughout the day. 

7:45 a.m. Arrive, park and check-in at Ohio State’s 4-H Center. Coffee and light breakfast will be provided (participants are requested to bring their own reusable and sealable coffee containers). 

8:15 a.m. Departure from Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4H Center.

10:00 a.m. Arrive at The Wilds.

10:15 a.m. Ecology and coal mine reclamation by Genelle Uhrig, M.S., director of ecology, The Wilds on historic tranformation from coal-mined land, present landscape, and restoration work. 

11:30 a.m. Depart The Wilds. 

12:00 p.m. Arrive at Miner's Memorial Park in Jesse Owens State Park. Introduction by Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Explore the 220 cubic-yard, 240-ton Big Muskie Bucket used to excavate 483 million cubic yards of rock and earth. Catered boxed lunches served. 

1:15 a.m. Depart Miner's Memorial Park. 

2:20 p.m. Arrive in Shawnee for history of Little Cities of Black Diamonds. History overview by Kellye Blosser (council member, Little Cities of Black Diamond Council) and Tyler McDaniel (president, Little Cities of Black Diamond Council) 

3:15 p.m. Depart Shawnee.

4:30 p.m. Return to Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4H Center.

Additional Information 

We strive to host events that are inclusive and accessible to everyone. If you have a disability and require accommodations to fully participate in this activity, please reach out to Callia Téllez ( Requests made five business days in advance will generally allow us to provide seamless access. However, we will make every effort to meet requests made after this time frame. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs. 

Masks are optional for all event attendees at this event, in accordance with Ohio State’s Safe and Healthy Protocols as of this date. In-person attendees will be expected to follow Ohio State protocols regarding the prevention of COVID-19 transmission. More health and safety information available on this Personal Safety Practices page

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