Coke ovens seen from educational viewpoint

LEETONIA — The Leetonia Beehive Coke Oven Commission is sponsoring an educational program to promote the park next month.

The program, “From the Carboniferous Period to the Anthropocene,” is scheduled for 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. May 9 at the Leetonia Community Public Library.

“The commission is the in the process of developing an educational component for the park,” explained president Bill Merdich. “We are experimenting by blending the history of this once industrial site with the natural environment that has now greatly changed its appearance and how it functions. We are excited to present a slate of speakers who will provide unique perspectives from their various disciplines on the site from its founding to today.”

The agenda includes the following presentations:

— Paul DiRocco, village of Leetonia, “A History of Leetonia’s Iron Industry & Bee-Hive Coke Oven’s

— Keynote speaker: Dr. Daniel Herms, vice president of research and development for Davey Tree Expert Company, “From Carboniferous Period to the Coke-Oven to Climate Change”

— Film presentation, “The Bee-Hive Coke Ovens. End of an Industrial Era” plus historic views of Leetonia presented by Merdich

— Pete Conkle, Columbiana Soil & Water, “Soil of the Leetonia Beehive Coke-Ovens”

— Thomas Butch, commissioner of the Columbiana County Park District,” Greenway Bike Connection to the Coke-Ovens”

— James Chatfield, associate professor and extension agent of The Ohio State University, “Plant of the Coke Ovens – Past, Present and Future”

Also included is a continental breakfast and catered lunch as well as a guided tour of the beehive coke ovens.

The event is open to the public and registration forms are available at the water office at village hall, 300 E. Main St. Seating is limited to the first 50 registrations. Registration before April 18 is $35 per person and $45 per person after April 18. The registration deadline is April 25.

For information contact Lola Davis at 614-670-2572 or Merdich at 330-817-0088.