Arbor Day kicks off activities
May 05, 2010 | 2437 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Crews plant trees as part of Arbor Day activities in Monticello. Courtesy photo
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The City of Monticello designated the celebration of Arbor Day for Friday, April 30, 2010, in conjunction with an activity sponsored by the VMTE committee, in which seven trees were planted at the Monticello Mill site.

The trees surround a newly constructed VMTE Memorial Kiosk representing the innocent generations of Monticello residents exposed to hazardous waste products from the milling era of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

In memory of cancer victims, trees are fitting as they are strong, sturdy, and survive all seasons. It is anticipated that additional trees will be planted in the future bringing beauty and life, rejuvenating the mill site, while providing a protective haven to remember those affected as lessons were learned while history unfolded in Monticello, Utah.

On Friday, May 7, the VMTE Committee will host a dinner for cancer survivors and their significant others followed by a public dedication of the VMTE Memorial Kiosk at the Monticello Mill site.

Everyone is invited to attend the historical dedication. The memorial kiosk will be dedicated in a heroic effort to provide recognition to all who have been affected.

On Saturday, May 8, the VMTE is sponsoring a cancer awareness walk from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a live DJ, booths, prizes, t-shirts, gift bags, and a fun time for all, at the Monticello High School track. To register, contact Diana Tousley at Wells Fargo, (435) 587-3211.

For a period of 57 years, between operations at the Monticello Mill and the exposure to the remaining radioactive mill tailings, the environment and the community were contaminated exposing generations to hazardous materials.

In 1992, the Department of Energy contracted for the clean up of the Monticello Mill site and 425 additional properties around the community, to prevent further exposure, placing the radioactive materials in a controlled repository located approximately a mile south of Monticello.

The residents who were exposed were part of the environment that was not taken care of in the government clean up and restitution, instead, many have tragically been given a “Legacy of Cancer” with little assistance from the federal government.

The VMTE Committee has worked tirelessly to obtain financial resources to provide education for cancer awareness, preventative screening, early detection, and assistance for victims identified with medical needs when and where possible. They have provided the memorial and awareness activities conducted last weekend and planned for this weekend.

Planting trees is just one of the ways the VMTE Committee recreates the legacy of the Monticello Mill site. The Committee is dedicated to continuing its work as an advocate for the victims of mill tailings exposure. It is a voluntary effort and any donations to this tremendous cause are encouraged and appreciated. If you would like to contribute, you may contact the Monticello City Office at 587-2271.
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