• The keystone wetland treatment cells are constructed and graded for steady water movement (credit D.I.R.T. Studio)
  • Wetlands functioning by 2005 fall (credit AMD&ART/Dana Zufall)
  • Pre-reclamation condition (credit AMD&ART/Denise Weber Collection)
  • Signage explaining how the Acid Mine Drainage is treated with the series of wetlands (credit AMD&ART)

Case Study

Acid Mine Drainage & Art Park | Vitondale, PA




Non-profit AMD&ART, AmeriCorp, VISTA volunteers
Funding List

Design Content

Julie Bargmann
Allan Comp
Bob Deason
Stacy Levy

Major Reclamation Issues

Acid Mine Drainage
Wetland and Stream Habitat
Community Facilities


Time Magazine
Orion Magazine
Post Gazette
Pittsburgh Live

Polluted drainage from abandoned coal mines and associated facilities were used in Vitondale to formulate a productive public park. Water travels through a series of limestone canals and aerating wetland basins to both cleanse the water and serve as a recreational zone for the local community. Planting patterns (“litmus gardens”) along the basins parallel the cleansing of the acidic water. The project won the 2005 EPA Phoenix Award, which was the first national EPA Brownfields award presented to a mine-scarred land project. AMD&ART realized the project with the help of landscape architect Julie Bargmann, hydrogeologist Robert Deason, sculptor Stacy Levy, historian T. Allan Comp, and many project volunteers.