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When the Robert C. Byrd High School ponds were originally constructed they were used for run off from the preexisting strip mines and as retention ponds for during construction Robert C. Byrd High School, fast forward 23 years, and the pond area is now being restored and revitalized to create an Ecological Park. The park will be a place both students and the community can utilize for learning and recreational purposes.The school has recognized the great potential that this pond has for the school and the community.
Since the of the condition of the pond and surrounding areas have fallen into disrepair over the years, Robert C. Byrd High School in unison with the Harrison County Board of Education, Thrasher Engineering, the Clarksburg Water Board, the Army Corps of Engineers, Antero Resources, and All Star Ecology are making major changes to the main pond to better upgrade it for its intended uses. The ponds will bolster Robert C. Byrd’s Junior ROTC program and allow them to expand their exercises and training, it will add an additional asset for the science department to develop. Reclamation of the walking trails around the area will re-open the area for communal use, and while improving the pond will once again be feasible for fish stocking, giving the Ecological Park another use by the community.
The first phase of the efforts will be to dredge the pond to remove sediment that has accumulated. Additional maintenance, upgrades and repairs will be done during this time, which includes sealing off the original drain pipe. By sealing off the original drain, it will allow the pond to maintain the necessary water levels for its intended uses. Two of the original overlook decks have been replaced and as time allows additional upgrade work is planned.
The equipment for the dredging phase of the project has been generously donated by Antero Resources, and will be run by the Clarksburg Water Board after the CWB pumps the water out of the current pond. The sediment that is removed from the pond will be placed in an additional location, on silt bags surrounded by fencing, which will be dried out and later sold. Before draining the pond members of Robert C. Byrd’s JROTC will be removing all fish from the pond and will be relocating them to the surrounding ponds.
Donations to the restoration and revitalization efforts of the Ecological Park at Robert C. Byrd High School can be mailed to the school with the memo: pond project. For more information, please contact Monica Audia at Robert C. Byrd High School by calling (304)326-7200.