A researcher at Laurentian University’s Living with Lakes Centre is planting the seeds for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly land reclamation process.
Jonathan Lavigne has partnered with Collège Boréal to explore the potential for pulp and paper mill waste and municipal biosolids as an alternative to the lime and fertilizer method of treating soils damaged by years of acid rain deposition.
He is tracking more than 3,000 seedlings at the college’s state-of-the-art greenhouse facility to determine how they respond to nine different soil treatments as part of the first phase of his project. His goal is to find the safest and most effective way to reintroduce organic matter to the region’s most damaged landscapes, including aggregate pits and Sudbury’s upland environments.
“Part of my master’s research project was to see how well Sudbury was doing in its regreening efforts,” said Lavigne, a former hockey player who went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Laurentian University.