Wild and Wet! Exhibit
Human use of the well field area moved from industrial to recreational soon after Olin Corporation closed in 1972. As wetlands came under government regulation, the area was protected in some ways. These wetlands are now a feature of the Clinch Mountain loop of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail. The well fields provide some protection for plants, animals, artifacts, and fossils.
The small ponds in Saltville are unlike any environment for hundreds of miles in any direction. Salt leaching from old wells entered some ponds and created a variation in salt content ranging from fresh to saltier than modern oceans. A few plant species found around these ponds are adapted to live in saline environments. Their presence in an isolated mountain valley from an ocean shore habitat is unusual. Birds carry seeds to this unique saltwater environment.
123 Palmer Ave.
Saltville, VA 24370