From quarry to forested park, a win-win solution
Creating a luxurious natural environment for future generations: that was the objective behind Graymont’s redevelopment of part of its Bedford quarry. For close to a quarter-century, the company’s limestone extraction operations had built up large quantities of harmless yet unusable slate; this past and future accumulation became a driver for the Heritage Project.
Transforming undesirable slate into an enviable greenspace demanded bold and ingenious work from the Lemay architecture and landscape architecture teams; pioneering approach allowed the unused rock to be recycled while benefiting the community.
The project’s constraints included continuing industrial operations next door, with their corresponding build-up of still more slate, and the need to redirect a stream. From that, the teams planted a luscious, green landscape with hiking and equestrian trails. A multifunctional pavilion, outdoor amphitheatre, playground and an interactive fountain round out the public recreational and tourism facilities.
This statement in support of biodiversity was rooted in sustainable environmental, social and economic development. Graymont’s future depends on its ability to dispose of its slate, which has no commercial value. The large space the material occupies will allow for the creation of wooded hillocks, where Graymont will be able to store future slate, as well. This reuse strategy preserves the factory’s hundreds of direct and indirect jobs in Bedford and surrounding communities.
The two-phase project will involve implementation of the park over five years, and the gradual revegetation of the area over 20 years. This original, creative solution will safeguard precious greenspace and outdoor activities to future generations.