Alex Cole, Community Organizer: Alex has a BS in Environmental Geography and a BA in United States History; he earned both in just four years from Ohio University. Alex describes himself as a born naturalist; his mother is an artist and landscape painter, and his father is a landscaper and horticulturalist.
His first exposure to OVEC was in 1995, when he was just six years old. He still remembers the scratch-and-sniff sticker his family received in the mail during OVEC’s successful campaign to stop the paper mill in Apple Grove, only ten miles from his family’s hill top farm in Pliny, WV. Alex now lives off-grid on that hill top farm next to Westvaco Company property that would have been clear cut if the pulp mill had been built.
Alex was previously employed as an extension agent with WV State University. He also volunteered with OVEC’s water quality monitoring project, gathering baseline data from streams impacted by the Mountaineer Express Pipeline.
Alex’s grassroots organizing work is now focused on stopping the proposed Appalachian Storage Hub/petrochemical complex (ASH) proposed for our region.
He is also leading our Re-Imagine Our Appalachian Region (ROAR) project, which promotes sustainable living and community driven sustainable economic development in the Ohio and Kanawha River Valleys as an alternative to ASH. His background as a naturalist, extension agent, off-grid farmer, landscaper, and permaculturalist provides a wealth of experience for this work.