Abstract Detail

Monday Symposium

Marietta, Geoff [1].

Resilience, Resources, and Regeneration:  Welcome to Future of Pine Mountain Settlement School.

With the sharp decline of coal over the past three years, there is a pressing need to transition coal-producing counties in Appalachia to a diversified and sustainable economy.  Pine Mountain Settlement School, a 501(c)3 non-profit, is positioned to take on this challenge after 100 years of serving the coalfield counties.  A National Historic Landmark, Pine Mountain Settlement School was founded in 1913 as a boarding school for children in Kentucky’s remote southeastern mountains. The School was the dream of a local man, William Creech Sr., who was troubled by the area’s lack of educational opportunities and the prevalence of social problems and rampant disease.   
The problems facing the region then are much the same today, and Pine Mountain Settlement School is returning to its roots to serve as a leader in the economic and social transition in Appalachia.  Our mission is to enrich lives and connect people through Appalachian place-based education for all ages.  We carry out that mission through core activities in education, sustainability, and economic development.   
In this welcome presentation for the 58th Annual Meeting of the Society for Economic Botany, I will first give a brief overview of the history of Pine Mountain Settlement School within the context of Harlan County, Eastern Kentucky, and Central Appalachia.  I then discuss the geological and ecological aspects of the area that produce astounding biodiversity.  In conclusion, I focus on how the history and ecology of the area shape a unique and resilient people who are primed for a future economy that is sustainable, diversified, and built on natural and cultural strengths of the region.

Related Links:
Pine Mountain Settlement School

1 - Pine Mountain Settlement School, 36 Highway 510, Bledsoe, KY, 40810, USA

Economic Development

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Abstract ID:76
Candidate for Awards:None