Press Release

BALTIMORE (May 21, 1998) -- The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) presented awards to two surface mine operators for their creative and environmentally responsible efforts to reclaim former sand and gravel mines.

E.L. Gardner Inc. of Annapolis received an award for their efforts in reclaiming part of a 405-acre sand and gravel surface mine known as the "Gladfelter tract" in Prince George's County. Gardner installed a baseball diamond, soccer fields and a walking track that the southern Prince George's County community uses daily. The facility has been donated to the Maryland Capital Park and Planning Commission.

The late Mitchell Bonneville, Sr. of Revells Neck Road in Somerset County, was recognized for leaving behind an outstanding 20-year legacy of surface mine reclamation at his farm. The property was returned to productive farmland after finishing his mining operation and produced crop yields comparable to any farm in the surrounding community.

Each year, approximately 550 acres of non coal surface mines are reclaimed by surface operators as part of their surface mine permits that may include non-tidal wetland creation, or creation of fish breeding ponds, farmland, forests or open spaces.

MDE also recognized Chaney Enterprises of Charles County with its "Good Neighbor" award for outstanding involvement in the community by donating volunteer time and resources for fundraising an behalf of worthy causes.