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Wingfield Pines: Nature and Technology Working Together

Duquesne students and faculty combine community service with environmental sampling at Wingfield Pines, an 80-acre tract in Upper St. Clair, Pa. that was formerly a strip mining site. Before remediation efforts were begun, an abandoned mine shaft was spewing 43 tons of iron oxide deposits into the environment each year, turning the water a telltale orange hue.

Students Collecting Data at Wingfield Pines

Passive Treatment System

Wingfield Pines PondThe Allegheny Land Trust built a sustainable passive treatment system to fight the effects of acid mine drainage (AMD) at Wingfield Pines. Contaminated water flows through a series settling ponds and a specially engineered wetland that remove the iron oxide before it can pollute local waterways. Each pond shows less and less orange water.

CERE instructor Dr. Nancy Trun leads science students in monitoring the growth of aquatic plants, the migration of fish and other aspects of water quality at Wingfield Pines. Their findings show that the system is functioning properly, a valuable service provided to the Allegheny Land Trust. View data collected by Duquesne volunteers.

Wingfield Pines Diagram

Duquesne University students began their work at Wingfield Pines under the leadership of Edward F. Schroth, a retired educator who taught science at Quaker Valley Public High School for more than 30 years before joining the Duquesne University faculty. He taught CERE classes for 17 years. After announcing his retirement in 2016, Ed received the prestigious Western Pennsylvania Environmental Award.