Mid-States Materials is best known for the rock aggregate the company takes from the ground, but it’s what the company puts back into the ground that makes it noteworthy.

The subsidiary of Bettis Asphalt & Construction Inc., of Topeka, has reclaimed 200 acres of mined land, backfilling part of its 2,000-acre quarry at Big Springs after extracting limestone and then grading the land before filling it with top soil and seed to return the area to pristine grassland.

The company works in conjunction with Quail Unlimited to determine which seeds and native grasses should be grown to best benefit wildlife. The company has planted more than 900 trees and released 100,000 fish into three newly dug ponds.

The reclamation work at the quarry, near the intersection of North 1700 Road and East 50 Road, took more than 10,000 hours of paid time by employees.

The work earned the company several awards, including the 2018 Outstanding Reclamation Award (Non-Coal) from the National Association of State Land Reclamationists and the Governor’s Mined Land Reclamation Award from the state of Kansas.

“Our goal was to leave the land aesthetically pleasing as a wildlife habitat, but to also have meaning for future generations,” said Eric Bettis, Mid-States Materials’ managing member, in a previous Topeka Capital-Journal article about the company winning the Outstanding Reclamation Award.