Looks Like We've Bought the County Trash Dump!
Before the Clean Up
The Mother of All Cleanups:
When they purchased the land in 2004, the Webers knew they faced some significant challenges in transforming this “diamond in the rough” into the “crown jewel” Muir Valley is recognized as today. The southern part of the Valley bore the ravages of a recent logging operation and infestations of damaging invasive species, and the northern part was the site of a huge generations-old illegal county trash dump. Over time, with the expenditure of a lot of money and effort, the Webers succeeded in the transformation.
Many visitors today might find it hard to believe that prior to the Webers purchasing the spectacular gorge that was to become Muir Valley, the local residents regarded it as nothing more than a deep hole in the ground in which to push their trash. Located amongst the pristine hillsides of mountain laurel and majestic hemlocks were mounds of trash—old auto wrecks, hundreds of tires, discarded appliances, and much more. It was pretty sad to see these huge, unsightly piles. This was a burden that came with the package, but, what in the world were they going to do with tons and tons of trash?
Liz Weber: "With help from great friends, Tim, Carol, and Eric Yates, Rick and I spent many weekend and vacation hours digging up trash and hauling it off. Then came the day we were able to have the trash dump areas of the Valley declared a Superfund cleanup site by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. A huge operation, undertaken during 2007, saw dozens of monster dump truckloads of trash scooped out and hauled away. At the end of the year, the transformation from the unofficial dump site to a nature preserve was complete. Eight years after this cleanup, mountain laurel, rhododendron, and a wealth of wildflowers once again grace the sides of the ravine that had served as the illegal dump. What a wonderful feeling it was to witness the natural beauty of this place emerge from the mounds of filth!"
After the Clean Up