The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

April 29, 2013

Miner memorial group joins preservationists

By Sarah Plummer
Register-Herald Reporter

— The Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial Group announced Sunday their intent to play a key role in preserving West Virginia’s history.

The group has joined the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia as a Growth and Development Organizational Partner.

Sheila Combs, president of the memorial group, said they are proud to be a member of the alliance and look forward to helping to preserve the area’s proud heritage.

“We are committed to the preservation of the region’s coal heritage and the further development of coal-related tourism in southern West Virginia,” she said.

The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is a statewide grassroots organization supporting historic preservation in the Mountain State. Since 1982, the nonprofit PAWV has been working to preserve West Virginia’s precious historical resources for the benefit of future generations. For more information on the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, visit their website at http://www.pawv.org.

The Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial Group Inc. was established in 2011 to raise funding and plan a permanent memorial to the 29 men killed in an explosion April 5, 2010, at the Upper Big Branch Coal Mine. The UBB Memorial opened July 27, 2012, in Whitesville.

Since then, the memorial group has recently launched a second project. The Coal Heritage RiverWalk will be built near the Upper Big Branch Miners Memorial and will serve the community and commemorate the region’s rich coal heritage. Construction on the riverfront park is set to begin this summer.