Back Stage Pass

by · May 10, 2013

United Soils Management invited members of the MLRA executive for a behind the scenes look at the Lee Sand and Gravel Pit restoration project.

Alec Cloke with property owner, Mrs. Lee and her daughter

Alec Cloke with property owner, Mrs. Lee and her daughter

By Dan Wigmore (story and photos)

Alec Cloke, the owner of United Soils Management, contacted the MLRA executive with an invitation for a behind the scenes look at the Lee Sand and Gravel Pit restoration project. This was a gracious offer and an amazing opportunity not to be missed. Who wouldn’t want to go on a tour of the site we have only had glimpses of as we drove past? After all, this site restoration project is a very unique and ambitious project. Once the restoration project is completed, a former sand and gravel pit will have been restored back to the way it was originally, back in the 1950s. Using photos and surveys from before the pit was started, United Soils Management’s mandate is to restore the site to its original elevations and also to plant woodlots where they had previously been.

Alec Cloke was the perfect host. He even arranged to have members of the Lee family there to greet us. Alec and his Protocol Control officer, Lori Loughlin-Pilato, gave us a complete access tour of the restoration site and was it ever educational. When you drive down the road onto the site the first thing that hits you is – ”WOW…I had no idea just how large a project this is”. The vast scope of this project suddenly becomes quite clear. Alec Cloke pointed out two gradient slopes where, until very recently, stood over 100 ft. cliffs. This is being done to make the site safe before proceeding further with the restoration project.

United Soils Management, Lee Sand & Gravel restoration project site

United Soils Management, Lee Sand & Gravel restoration project site

 Protocol Control officer , Lori Loughlin-Pilato demonstrating random soil testing performed regularly on site

Protocol Control officer , Lori Loughlin-Pilato demonstrating random soil testing performed regularly on site

One of seven monitoring wells strategically positioned on the site to ensure water quality is maintained

One of seven monitoring wells strategically positioned on the site to ensure water quality is maintained

Alec Cloke (owner of United Soils), discusses soil testing protocols with Rick Wigmore (MLRA President), Jane Grinnell (MLRA VP)

Alec Cloke (owner of United Soils), discusses soil testing protocols with Rick Wigmore (MLRA President), Jane Grinnell (MLRA VP)

Lori, United Soils’ protocol control officer gave us a demo of how they test soil samples and she also pointed out the monitoring wells around the site that are used to test for even the slightest of variations in the ground water. Inside the site office they have a site plan to record exactly where the loads were placed. This is done using GPS technology.

After touring the site not only do you have a greater grasp of the scope of the project but you can actually begin to picture what the site will look like once the project is complete. We should be very proud to have such a unique restoration project being carried out in our community.

Alec Cloke is to be commended for all the efforts he is making to ensure that United

Soils is not only a good neighbour but also continues to contribute to the community.

For more information please see links below for photo slide show of tour, an article on the project and interview videos with Alec Cloke.

 

Click Here for Related Article on Restoration Project

MLRA’s Charlene Jones using her Whistle Radio experience, interviews owner of United Soils Management for the MLRA about Lee Sand & Gravel pit restoration project in this first of a three part interview. See video below.

MLRA’s Charlene Jones using her Whistle Radio experience, interviews owner of United Soils Management for the MLRA about Lee Sand & Gravel pit restoration project in this second of a three part interview. This segment covers regulations & safeguards covering the restoration of the former Lee Sand and Gravel Pit. See video below.

MLRA’s Charlene Jones using her Whistle Radio experience, interviews owner of United Soils Management for the MLRA about Lee Sand & Gravel pit restoration project in this final of a three part interview. In this segment the effects on the community are discussed. See video below.

Filed Under: MLRA News