Growth Plan Consultation Period June 16, 2020
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has released ERO # 019-1680 that opens a consultation period for changes to the Growth Plan. Most of these changes relate to the building and development industry, but there was also an amendment with respect to aggregate. The posting provides a 45-day comment period.
Submit your Health & Safety Award Nominations! November 11, 2019
The OSSGA Health & Safety Committee invites all active OSSGA members to recognize individuals and operations within their organizations that have excelled at making safety a part of their daily responsibilities. The deadline for submissions is Friday, December 13th. The awards and certificates will be presented at the 2020 Operations, Health & Safety Seminar on January 22 & 23rd.


September 23, 2014

Highest honour awarded to Wildwood Pit for diverse ecosystem created in former gravel pit


ST. MARYS, Ont., September 23, 2014  — The Wildwood Pit within the Wildwood Conservation Area joins an exclusive group of rehabilitated former gravel pits awarded with the Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association’s (OSSGA) Bronze Plaque. The association’s highest honour, only 20 sites in Ontario have earned this distinction since it was established in 1975.
“This represents the best of the best among the thousands of rehabilitated former aggregate extraction sites in the province,” said Ted Wigdor, Chief Executive Officer of OSSGA. “The diverse ecosystem created here, with rare plant species and habitat for snakes and turtles is why this site is so exceptional.”
Wigdor pointed to other well-known public spaces that have earned the OSSGA Bronze Plaque distinction in the past, including the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, the Wainfleet Wetlands in Niagara, the Don Valley Brick Works Park in Toronto and St. Marys Swimming Quarry.
“We are very honoured to receive this award and pleased that the public can explore this rehabilitated gravel pit as part of the Wildwood Lake Trail,” said Ian Wilcox, General Manager, Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA). “It’s an excellent example of how former pits and quarries can create natural spaces that complement the surrounding landscape.”
The environmental significance of the rehabilitation work done at the Wildwood Pit is that it created a rare tallgrass prairie plantation, as well as a thriving fen (type of wetland) and pond that supports native plant species, amphibians and reptiles. Only one per cent of the original tallgrass ecosystem in North America remains and almost 20% of Ontario’s rare plant species occur in these communities. The unique assemblage of natural heritage features at the Wildwood Pit contributes to the biodiversity of the region and province – one of the key reasons why the Bronze Plaque was awarded. 
The Bronze Plaque was affixed to a large, decorative stone marker that was installed last week. It was inaugurated at a ceremony this afternoon. Mayor Margaret Lupton and Councillors Ron Forbes and Marie Keasey from the Township of Zorra Council were also on hand to celebrate the award. The site is located in the township. Following the ceremony, the group did an interpretive walk on the trail and boardwalk to see the fen, pond and tallgrass habitat at its autumn peak.
The Wildwood Pit is situated in the Wildwood Conservation Area (with a portion of the pit owned by a neighbouring family) and includes hiking trails through the former gravel pit. Sand and gravel from the Wildwood Pit was used in many local infrastructure projects in the 1960s, including construction of the Wildwood Dam which provides flood control in the upper watershed of the Thames river. Extraction at the site ended prior to 1971 and rehabilitation of the pit was started by the UTRCA and the Ministry of Natural Resources in 1996.