Thursday, October 02, 2008

Ecological Day

Sonia at Leaves of Grass has started a monthly event called Ecological Day where you can post anything relating to the ecology.
Today I wanted to show the cleanup of a cave in our county. This is probably about 15 miles from where I live. This is a picture of all the trash that has been thrown in this cave over the years.

It took three years and more than 60 volunteers from seven states to rid Saltpeter Pit of 200 tons of garbage, which created a 45-foot pile of trash affectionately coined “Mount Trashmore” by local cave explorers. The project began after a research team from Bat Conservation International discovered in 2005 that Saltpeter Pit – named so because it was mined for saltpeter, an ingredient in gunpowder, during the War of 1812 – serves as a hibernation site for a colony of more than 500 Rafinesque’s big-eared bats. Rafinesque’s big-eared bats is a rare species, and the Saltpeter Pit colony is thought to be the fourth-largest colony in the world. The massive cleanup project may have been started because of the bats, but other issues – such as clean water came to light. Pulaski County is well known as an area with extensive cave systems and underground networks, which act like a network of pipes, carrying water without giving it a chance to filter through soil. When it rains and water goes in this cave, it is affecting someone’s drinking water, and they may not even know it, so another reason this clean up was so important. The cave also serves as an important archeological site, because remnants of the mine’s heyday still exist within its three passages, one of which was clogged completely by the trash. Now that the trash is gone, the site will be monitored to ensure that no more dumping occurs.

Here is the after picture! What a difference!! For other participants in Ecological Day, you may go here.


Blogger Judy said...

WOW Rachel! What a great job they have done. I am sure the water is much cleaner now, too. Bet the bats are happier with less waste and junk to activate their radar. lol. Kentucky must have a lot of caves. I know there is a big one over near Perryville.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Lily Hydrangea said...

This is an amazing testament to the fact that there are people who really care enough about the environment to do something about it.
Great post!

10:41 AM  
Blogger sonia a. mascaro said...

What a GREAT post, Rachel! Excelent participation on Ecological Day! You did a good job here and you transmite to us a very important information and a good example to follow, too.
Wow! I am amazed with the lot of trash on the first photo!

I am very glad with all the participation because each one of them choose a different theme and a different approach to Ecology. And it is great!

Thank you so much Rachel for your participation!
A big hug to you!

10:52 AM  
Blogger Marcos Santos said...

The first picture shows that the human being does not belong to this planet. Definitely not.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Diane@Diane's Place said...

Very interesting, Rachel! I'm very interested in caves and geology, anything to do with animals and their habitat. This is just so good on so many different levels.

And bless all those people who gave up their weekends and spare time to clean up someone else's mess.

Love and hugs,


1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Can't believe all the trash there! God bless those volunteers who cleaned up! Wonderful post!

Happy Ecological Day!


1:18 PM  
Anonymous Adelino said...

Rachel, belo trabalho que deveria incentivado em todos os países do mundo.
Um abraço.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous mari said...

What an interesting, informative and important post. Did you know, by the way, that because of this foreclosure crisis the U.S. is in, that the contents of abandoned houses are being dumped into landfills? Apparently there's no time for the people who clean out the houses to coordinate with Goodwill, etc. to sort out the items that people leave behind when the bank seizes their property. I just saw a report on this on PBS - it was shocking and deeply sad. Glad I found you through Sonia! Beset, mari

2:16 PM  
Blogger Granny Annie said...

Tell some more about this Rachel. How did the trash come to be there? Do people drive there and dump their garbage or is it years of a cup here a bottle there? I am totally amazed that such a beautiful site could become so very spolied by human debris! What a bunch of pigs we can be.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Rachel, I like that! Speaking of ecology things, I have a picture of some terrible smog in Moscow, Russia, on my Little Photo Blog today.

I came though to give you another award. I hope you like it, you deserve it a lot. :-)
It'll be up soon.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Pietro said...

Great post for the Ecological Day!
Very good work of the volunteers who cleaned up.

10:36 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

That is simply AMAZING, Rachel! That was a MAJOR Clean-Up Job! What did they do with the all that Trash? Where did they take it to and will it screw up something else? I worry about all these kinds of things....Trash as Landfill, etc...! OY!

11:57 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Wow, that was quiet a project....I can't believe how much garbage was there. I hope people pay attention and don't throw any more trash down there. The bats should have more freedom now, I hope they like it.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Ralph said...

That is amazing they did a great job cleaning that up. Three years to do it shows true dedication.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Mountain Mama said...

That's incredible. They did a super job. I't's so disgusting when people dump their trash like that.
It's just wonderful that it's all cleaned up now and the bat's have a nice clean place to sleep.

6:04 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Thanks for your visit my dear and your comments, too! It is always a great pleasure to read what you say...I do dearly appreciate your always very dear comments.
I look forward to your Sunday Sign tomorrow, my dear Rachel....

6:27 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

What a lovely project. Sometimes a hole in the ground is more than just a hole in the ground to fill with garbage.

I almost confused Pulaski County,Ky with the town of Pulaski in Tennessee, birthplace of the KKK. I am glad I double checked.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Scarlet said...

I love these amazing before and after shots, and thanks for sharing a little bit of the history.

Perfect post for "Ecological Day!"

7:23 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

200 tons? Holy crap! (I didn't mean to be funny...)

Well done, volunteers. It's most definitely a worthwhile effort.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Gette said...

We have an impromtu dump in our lions park here. bummer

2:48 PM  

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