Vale resumes annual reseeding program, this time near Wahnapitae
Residents in the Greater Sudbury community of Wahnapitae might have noticed low-flying aircraft overhead, but it's nothing to be concerned about.
Mining giant Vale is reseeding an area near Highway 537 as part of its regreening efforts.
Watching it, onlookers will notice a delicate dance in the air between two helicopters that's carefully being choreographed by these specialists.
"We treat about 100 hectares over the course of about four days so as you can see, the helicopters cycle very, very quickly and they can complete this job in about four days," said Vale's Quentin Smith.
One at a time, a helicopter approaches the filling area where large buckets are filled with a mix of lime, grass seed and fertilizer.
Once airborne, payloads are dropped in a specific area.
The hope is once the city returns next season to plant pine seedlings, there will also be new grass and new growth.
"They do dozens of cycles over the course of the day so I'm not sure about a specific number, but it would be dozens ... for sure," said Smith.
Smith said they pick October because a lot of what they're doing is weather dependent. In the course of 30 years, officials said they've covered roughly 10,000 acres.
"We've stressed the land in and around our historic smelter sites, including our historic smelter in the Coniston area, so we undertake the reseeding program on an annual basis as a way of trying to correct the mistakes of the past," he said.
Charles Goggin has been flying the mission for a couple of years now, long enough to see the fruits of his labour.
"It's kinda' nice, you know, when you come around here the next few years and you see all the good that's been done," said Goggin. "You come here as a kid and everything's black rocks and (there's) lots of green now."
Remediation efforts continue, one scoop or bucket at a time, for the rest of the week.