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Abandoned Dessecker Mine complex to transform into a tree sanctuary with 5,000 newly planted trees

Posted: 11:14 AM, Mar 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-29 19:30:40-04
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DOVER, Ohio — From what's old, to something new. The multi-year transformation of the former Dessecker Mine Complex in Tuscarawas County is getting capped off with a massive planting effort Saturday.

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A sign tells visitors the history of the Dessecker Mine Complex.

"We're going to be planting 5,000 hardwood trees in that area," said Camp Tuscazoar 's Nancy Schoenbaum. "Beautify it, stop erosion and make it a better place."

Starting Saturday, nearly 300 volunteers will start planting the trees provided by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

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The site was an active mine from 1947 until 1995, after which it sat vacant for several years and was purchased by the Camp Tuscazoar Foundation.

"Anything to help this camp and help people come to the outdoors and get away from the devices is a good thing," said Schoenbaum.

ODNR's Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program makes it possible for the area to be properly cleaned and made safe for the public.

"The project was able to take a dangerous situation, an extreme liability, and turn it into a productive asset for the future use of the camp," said ODNR's Environmental Specialist Kevin Bratcher.

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Once the planting is done, the old mine site can be used by Camp Tuscazoar for additional parking, camp sites, and hiking areas.

"When I think how ugly that site used to be and how beautiful it is now is amazing," said Schoenbaum.