KILLINGTON- A unique recycling method has proven highly
effective at restoring Craig Mosher's property located at the east
entrance of Killington along the river. His field was washed away
by Tropical Storm flooding over a year ago, the topsoil replaced
with rocks and silt.
Mosher, a long time resident and owner of Mosher Excavating,
founded in 1979, had his hands full digging out neighbors and
friends in the months after the storm, so he didn't focus on
reclaiming his own pasture and meadow until this summer.
"I see many visitors stop to take pictures here, the animals and
pasture and river make for a nice Vermont scene and it has become
somewhat of a landmark for the [east] entrance… it's a reason for
folks to stop and take a breath," said Mosher. "I look forward to
letting Big and Rob graze here again," he added, referring to his
two Scottish Highlander bulls.
Indeed his pictorial landscape is quintessentially Vermont.
Mosher's two Highlanders shared this field with two sheep, Byron
and Jessie, and Pedro, the donkey before the storm.
After hearing about Mosher's loss, Resource Management, Inc.
(RMI), of Holderness, New Hampshire, approached him with an
innovative idea for restoring his field using manufactured topsoil.
RMI has been manufacturing topsoil since 1995 for use in disturbed
land reclamation projects. They call it NutraSoil and it holds
better than topsoil on slopes or by riverbanks, Mosher explains,
saying, "It holds where topsoil would erode."
NutraSoil is made combining sand and biosolids. Part of this
mixture also includes paper waste (mostly glossy magazines) that
cannot be recycled due the clay material used in the glossy
"They provided the paper and biosolids; I provided the sand and
my time," Mosher explained of the partnership. "It's expensive to
be green, but it's not productive to strip productive land of its
topsoil… I'm a conservationist at the core," he added.
RMI shares Mosher's commitment to environmental responsibility
by serving as an organic waste, residuals management and recycling
company specializing in innovative soil-based recycling
Charley Hanson, co-owner of RMI, says "It takes 500 years to
make an inch of topsoil [in nature]; it takes us five hours." The
combination of organic matter, paper fiber and biosolids is a very
nutritional combination, "it jump-starts the soil ecosystem… just
like starting compost," he adds.
RMI is a commercial size operation that most commonly uses its
manufactured topsoil for gravel pit reclamation projects or wetland
restoration. Since Irene, however, they "have been looking for
places to help," Hanson says.
RMI committed to donating up to 10,000 cubic yards of
erosion-resistant topsoil to the rebuilding efforts after Tropical
"We are pleased to support our community and help
speed the rebuilding efforts by donating NutraSoil," said Shelagh
Connelly, president of RMI in their fall 2012 newsletter. "This
donation is in keeping with RMI's tradition of community support;
in 2008 we donated topsoil to help restore farm fields after the
Alstead floods of 2006."
In late September, just over a week after planting grass seed in
the manufactured topsoil, newly sprouted grass shoots covered
Mosher's pasture. By next summer, Mosher expects the animals will
be back to grazing on their preferred patches and visitors will
once again be greeted by this iconic pastoral scene.