Hamm Companies Awarded Kansas Reclamation Award

Hamm Companies Inc. was recently awarded the 2019 Governor’s Mined Land Reclamation Award by the Kansas Department of Transportation at the Kansas Aggregate Producers Association convention.

Gary Hamm (right) of Hamm Companies received the 2019 Governor’s Mined Land Reclamation Award by Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz (left) at the recent Kansas Aggregate Producers Association convention.

The award is presented annually to companies that convey a positive image of mining in Kansas and excel in the implementation of mined land reclamation.

Hamm was recognized for its reclamation work on an 80-acre surface mine in Herington, Kan. (Dickinson County). The company operated the limestone quarry intermittently for 30 years, ending in 2010. 

Though reclamation of mining sites is required by law, Hamm Companies took the process a step further and worked with the landowner, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, and the Wildlife Habitat Council to turn the property into sanctuary for native plant life and indigenous wildlife such as bobcat, deer, pheasant and duck.

Turning the former quarry into a wildlife sanctuary was a long-held dream of the landowner, retired U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Delbert Presslor. Though Presslor passed away in 2017, just seven months before completion of the project, the avid hunter and fisherman’s dream became a reality. 

The land could have been reclaimed solely for agricultural use, which is a common practice for former quarry sites. Instead, the location now includes four large ponds, numerous species of native grasses and wildflowers, and burgeoning populations of wildlife. Supported with detailed management plans, the property now includes:

  • Nearly 10 acres of food plots for wildlife, including turnips, chickory, milo, alfalfa and three different species of clover.
  • More than 50 wildflower species, planted over a total of two acres, to provide food for insects and nearby nesting birds throughout the growing season.
  • Numerous species of native grass to provide welcoming habitats and winter cover for wildlife.
  • A special “bobcat sanctuary” of boulders that were removed during quarrying.

“Hamm Companies prides itself on being a steward of the land we quarry, so naturally the incredible opportunity to work with Mr. Presslor and the state of Kansas to turn the Herington site into a diverse wildlife habitat meant a great deal to us,” said Gary Hamm, strategic planning manager for Hamm Companies. “Not only was this project deeply gratifying for everyone involved, the fact we were honored by the state for our efforts makes it even more special.” 

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