It’s simple in theory, but Grande Prairie Regional College has played a large role in helping oil sands companies reclaim damaged land.
The college’s Pollutants to Products (P2P) initiative, led by Dr. Weixing Tan and funded by the Oil Sands Leadership Initiative (OSLI), has developed a method of tree planting that allows saplings to be planted – and survive – as temperatures as low as -17ºC.
The process involves creating mounds of peat with a backhoe. Once the earth is dug up, it increases the temperature of the soil below the surface, which means the seedlings aren’t planted in frozen ground.
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