Kansas honors company for ecological restoration of old 640-acre quarry

In January of 2019, Kansas Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers awarded the 2018 Governor’s Mined Land Reclamation Award to Martin Marietta Materials, Inc at the Kansas Aggregate Producers Association meeting in Olathe, Kansas.

The award is presented annually to companies that excel in implementing mined land reclamation and who convey a positive image of mining in Kansas.

Aggregate quarry in operation.
Photo via Kansas Department of Agriculture.

Martin Marietta Materials was recognized for the North Marion Quarry: the restored area of the North Marion Quarry covers some 640 acres in Marion County.

James Nicholson, a senior environmental engineer with Martin Marietta, said the honor is appreciated, but that the greater reward has been seeing the impact of the reclaimed land on its people.

This is one of the best parts of my job,” said Nicholson, the reclamation project’s lead. “This property is something we’re truly proud of. We mined it and then returned it to a state as good—if not better—than it was before we arrived.

Several small ponds and wetlands were constructed to provide water for wildlife as the mine site was returned to the wildlife habitat it once was.

The North Marion Quarry site today.
Photo via Kansas Department of Agriculture.

Seeding of native grasses and wildflowers was completed after sloping, grading and topsoiling the mined area. The landowner hosts wildflower tours and leases the property for guided hunts.

Martin Marietta Materials operates multiple locations in Kansas. The North Marion Quarry was a surface mine that extracted aggregate materials from the earth and manufactured high-quality materials for the local construction industry.

The Kansas Division of Conservation (DOC) is responsible for administering the Surface-Mining Land Conservation and Reclamation Act (Mined Land Reclamation Program).

The Act requires that producers who mine industrial materials or minerals of commercial value such as sand, gravel, limestone, clay, gypsum, shale, sandstone, silt, caliche, volcanic ash or salt be licensed to operate a mine, producers also have to register their mining sites, file a reclamation plan for each site, submit a reclamation bond and reclaim mining sites upon completion of mining operations.

Featured photo (courtesy of Kansas Department of Agriculture) shows the North Marion Quarry after being restored with native grasses.

Learn more about Martin Marietta’s reclamation project(PDF).

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