Emerald Forest Gravel Pit Reclamation

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Resort Municipality of Whistler

The Resort Municipality of Whistler‘s (RMOW) Emerald Forest Conservation Area provides habitat for upland forest and wetland species. The RMOW sought to increase the habitat value of the area through reclamation of two abandoned gravel pits.   Concurrently, the RMOW envisioned improving the aesthetic quality of a roadside strip along the Sea to Sky Highway at the entrance to Whistler at Function Junction.

SYLVIS worked closely with the RMOW to reclaim the Emerald Forest gravel pits and to improve the aesthetics of Function Junction. SYLVIS prepared a Land Application Plan (LAP) as per the requirements of the BC Organic Matter Recycling Regulation (OMRR) which allowed for dewatered biosolids produced by the RMOW to be mixed with woodchips as a fabricated topsoil capable of supporting vegetation.

The soil application rate was determined based on existing soil quality to provide the nutrients required for vegetation growth. Although the quality of the RMOW biosolids did not require additional measures of environmental protection, buffer zones to water bodies were established. Sites were contoured for aesthetic purposes as well as for protection of established vegetation. Native trees, shrubs and grasses were used to complete the reclamation.

The use of organic residuals for soil production and application in reclamation projects provides a beneficial use of residual material which may otherwise be disposed of. For over 20 years SYLVIS has provided environmental solutions which are innovative, sustainable and supportive of project objectives.