This spring, Aggregates Manager put out the call for entries into our second annual photo contest.

The top winner, Lemon Grove, Calif.-based RCP Block & Brick  is a family-owned company that extracts sand to provide material for the manufacture of its core products – concrete masonry units and retaining wall block. Its reclamation plan was approved in 1991 and began in 1994. By working with the local community, the operator was able to restore the native vegetation and streamed along the new Walker Preserve Trail, which is a segment of the larger San Diego River Trail.

Along the reclaimed slopes of the site, the city of Santee installed a public trail with placards that explain how the river once provided the sand necessary for the concrete blocks many area residents have in their homes and schools. The placards also highlight how the site has been reclaimed using native vegetation. Interestingly, this community education is all taking place on the community’s dime, not the operator’s. Considering that this project took place in California, it underscores that a good partnership can build ties in even the most unlikely of places.

That’s the message I hope operators throughout the United States and Canada take away from this contest. Build trust with your local communities. Take their needs into account when considering future use of your property. Foster an environment where each entity helps the other. That is a future plan worth creating.

For more great ideas, check out our photo gallery below.

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