Study shows rehabilitation effective for former aggregate sites

By |  June 18, 2012

A study being released by the Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (OSSGA) shows that rehabilitated aggregate sites are being successfully integrated into their communities and surrounding landscapes once rehabilitation has been completed.

OSSGA retained a team of planners and ecologists to review 337 sites that had been licensed pits and quarries. The sites were fully extracted and rehabilitated to new land uses in the Oak Ridges Moraine Plan Area, Niagara Escarpment Plan Area, Greenbelt Plan Area, Lake Simcoe Protection Plan Area, as well as Metropolitan Toronto and the City of Ottawa. Field visits produced data on each property in the study, including amount of tree coverage and native vegetation, as well as current site use, surrounding land uses and municipal zoning.

Among the findings was that the land uses of the sites are natural (32 percent), residential (15 percent), recreational (13 percent), water (11 percent), open space (11 percent), with other occurrences of industrial, commercial institutional and other land uses. There is about 17 percent tree coverage on the sites across the entire study area, with an estimated 66 percent of plant life being vegetation that is native to Ontario.

The study’s recommendations include improving the standards for data collection, working to develop best practices for rehabilitation and studying all rehabilitated sites in the province. Other recommendations include developing best practices for managing the natural succession process through which ecosystems develop, and measuring the ecological success of rehabilitation objectives.

To obtain an electronic copy of the report, contact Miller at

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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