Building solidarity for a healthy Appalachia

Aurora Lights supports locally-based projects that strengthen the connections within and between human communities and their natural environment by promoting environmental and social action. Ultimately, we hope to restore a sense of the sacred balance between the Earth and the human community that will promote sustainable and thoughtful land stewardship. Read more...

Aurora Lights News

Latest updates on Aurora Lights

Jun 12, 2014
Aurora Lights Announces Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership School!

July 1, 2014

For Immediate Release

Contact Info: Elizabeth Wiles, PR & Operations Manager

Aurora Lights & Mountain SOL School



New Environmental Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership School in Morgantown

Jan 11, 2014
Donate to send relief supplies to families affected by chemical spill

Update :  At this point, we have stopped sending trucks of water to affected counties.  However, many families are still without clean water.  We are working now to help provide rain catchment systems and portable jugs to help support long term recovery from this disaster.  Please donate or share your skills with us!


Two more vehicles left on Sunday 1/19 or affected areas.  More trucks leaving later this week and weekend depending on how much supplies we can raise.   Please organize your community, your church, your school,  your work and help us to sustain the relief.  This is going to be an ongoing situation and we need a wide network of people to keep helping.  Thank you for all that you have done, and all you are doing now!  We are keeping the Aurora Lights' Facebook page updated with pictures and stories.


Aurora Lights sent another flat-bed truck of supplies on Thursday 1/16 to for folks in affected areas of southern West Virginia who have not been receiving sufficient water, liquid baby formula, etc., after the chemical spill last week that has poisoned their tap water.  Your donations ensured the truck was packed with as much water and other supplies as it could handle.  We also supported three other runs that daay, please see facebook for more details.

Thanks to your generosity, on Sunday 1/12 we were able to fill a 20 foot trailer, an SUV, a truck bed, and a smaller trailer with water to help the folks in southern West Virginia who are affected by the coal chemical spill.  We were also able to send money to Coal River Mountain Watch to support water purchase and local delivery.  

 Let's work together to help out the people in need and make sure that we never let this happen again.  More information is available on Aurora Lights' Facebook page.  If you live near the affected area and have a spring, well or other clean water source that people can draw from, the West Virginia Clean Water Hub has been set up to coordinate such drinking water mutual aid.

Please donate tonight to ensure our flat-bed truck leaves Morgantown full of supplies:

Thank you everyone who has supported this effort after Freedom Industries' tank leaked 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol into the Elk River.

-- The Aurora Lights Crew


Jan 2, 2014
Aurora Lights welcomes new staff members!

Hannah Spencer started her first day today as President-in-Training with Aurora Lights! Hannah is a West Virginia native with a passion for the outdoors. Her love of the outdoors led her to receive a B.S. in West Virginia University's Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources program. She is active with West Virginia's chapter of the Sierra Club and serves on the local chapter's executive committee. Her interests are in environmental issues, local ecology, and connecting children with nature.

Dec 27, 2013
Aurora Lights to provide outreach support for

As part of Aurora lights mission to build solidarity for a Healthy Appalachia through education and outreach, we have partnered to provide outreach support for a group of concerned citizens under the name NoInjectionWell.Org. NoInjectionWell.Org was started because of Energy Corporation of America’s proposed injection well within 500 feet of Deckers Creek near Masontown, WV. The well would be in close proximity to the creek and the Deckers Creek Rail Trail.

Sep 13, 2013
New Mini-grant given to support Lone Mountain

Aurora Lights is pleased to announce the award of a Still Moving Mountains minigrant to support the publication of Lone Mountain. Lone Mountain is an illustrated children’s story book created to educate youth about mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining. Set in central Appalachia, this 32-page book presents beautifully illustrated full color pages that will compel and educate youth and adult readers alike.

Appalachian Feed

News, updates and opinion from around Appalachia

Jan 21, 2014

Rachel Maddow highlights reports that people in West Virginia continue to report sickness despite assurances that their water is safe after a chemical spill.

Jan 16, 2014

As the crisis continues, Aurora Lights is working closely and coordinating with an amazing group of staff and volunteers from the CARE Campaign, Keepers of the Mountains, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, and Coal River Mountain Watch in relief efforts to bring clean water to impacted residents in areas where water has not yet been restored and in areas where the water still isn't suitable for consumpt

Jan 15, 2014

From, by Kiley Kroh

After a major chemical spill contaminated the water supply and as 300,000 West Virginians endure their fifth day without clean tap water for drinking, bathing, or cooking, many residents are left asking the same question: How could this happen?

Dec 27, 2013

AL is very proud of the work our colleagues did on “Who Owns West Virginia?”. It’s the first major investigation into land ownership in over thirty years. Previous reports identified the major absentee corporations that held titles to huge land swaths—especially in southern West Virginia. Co author Ted Boettner writes: "For the better part of the 20th century, land ownership patterns in West Virginia remained virtually unchanged. Large energy and land-holding corporations bought up mineral-rich acres and held them until market conditions were favorable for mining, drilling or leasing.

Sep 9, 2013

Larry died of a heart attack on Sunday, September 9, while working on his family’s land on Kayford Mountain, which he spent the last decades of his life protecting from mountaintop removal.  Larry successfully protected fifty acres of his homeplace on Kayford Mountain and he inspired people nationwide to take action to stop mountaintop removal coal mining.

Jun 26, 2012

Check out Coal River Mountain Watch's new section entitled "The Health Impacts of Mountaintop Removal and Coal Mining."  The new health guide on Coal River Mountain Watch's website includes a list of the peer reviewed research that has been conducted on the impacts of MTR and coal mining in general on public health in local communities.  Six of the studies are specific to mountaintop removal.  This guide was developed by Aurora Lights' own Jen Osha, who is also Project Director at Coal River Mountain Wa