By Diane Hellekson, Landscape Architecture, September 2008
How to sustainably reclaim northern Minnesota's open-pit iron ore mines? That's the question John Koepke and Chris Carlson (Landscape Architecture) are trying to answer. One proposed solution is to integrate the reclamation process into the mining process itself, rather than working to reclaim individual mines after they're abandoned. This is something Koepke and Carlson are exploring in a new course for mine engineers to be offered next year.
Koepke and Carlson have completed a plan for part of a new mine outside Biwabik that uses natural slopes, drainage swales, and a 500-foot long figurative earth sculpture in a process meant to be integrated into the mining operation.
Diane Hellekson, the author of the article, is a Landscape Architecture alumna.