Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Reclaimed gravel pit

When I moved to my home in suburban Byron on the edge of London, Ontario, there was a huge gravel pit immediately across from my home. The pit was actually closed, no more gravel was being excavated, and the pit was now going through a process of reclamation.

My wife and I were warned that we might have to put up with dust from the closed pit for twenty years. Reclaiming a gravel pit requires a lot of fill and dumping that fill creates a lot of dust.

Well London grew faster than estimated and new construction creates a massive amount of fill. The old pit disappeared quickly. It was gone in just a few years. The steep cliffs of the pit were sloped and a beautiful park took shape, complete with a baseball diamond and a children's play area.

Watching these boys ascending one of the wildflower covered slopes, it's hard to believe that just more than a decade ago this was the steep, sandy home for hundreds of cliff swallows.

It is funny to contemplate but sometimes I wonder if my home, sitting on a mound of gravel and fine sand hundreds of feet deep, will be torn down someday in the future in order to get at the gravel underneath. It is not unknown for homes to be demolished to extract the valuable aggregate on which they sit.

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