In front of the community movie theater in Friday Harbor, a perch welcomes anyone who passes by. It’s not your everyday park bench: it’s sculpted granite, refined in its well-formed lines and polished surfaces, yet preserving a natural form in its organic waves and cu­rves. Like its creator Tom Small, it is solid, stable, and unpretentious. It invites viewers to pause and enjoy a few minutes’ rest and peace.

One of Tom’s sculptural benches sits in front of the movie theatre in Friday Harbor. Photo courtesy of Tom Small.

The bench is one of sculptor Tom Small’s first public pieces. Seeing people seated on it brings Tom a sense of fulfillment when he ventures into town, and it reminds him of his primary goal in stone carving. 

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In a city known for skyscrapers and tiny apartments, Diana Sanzone’s Brooklyn backyard is a rare treasure. But Diana couldn’t enjoy the muddy yard in her motorized wheelchair.

Her landscaper, Daniel S. Burnstein, wanted to create a natural-looking, affordable surface so that Diana could enjoy her yard once again. Gravel was his material of choice. But one thing had Daniel stumped: how could he ensure that the gravel surface was wheelchair accessible?

Daniel turned to Washington Rock Quarries for advice. With the help of industry experts, Washington Rock made a guide for creating a wheelchair-accessible gravel surface. Then we teamed up with Daniel and Vermont-based gravel supplier North East Materials Group to adapt those guidelines to Diana’s yard.

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Daniel Burnstein of Brooklyn, New York had a unique dilemma: his client wanted to be able to use the backyard with a wheelchair. Concrete work and pavers can be expensive, and Daniel liked the rustic charm of gravel.

His question: Can gravel surfaces be wheelchair accessible? The answer is yes—if they meet certain standards.

Washington Rock, with the help of landscape architect Clayton Beaudoin, researched the topic and came up with guidelines for making gravel surfaces wheelchair accessible.

Our goal is to make these guidelines as easy as possible to follow, so we created a simple guide below. Then we included additional resources, such as a Glossary of Terms and Research Notes.

Check out the companion piece to this article, “Designing for Diana: How We Made Gravel Wheelchair-Accessible in Brooklyn,” to read about how we used our guidelines to help Daniel create a gravel-accessible backyard. The project is summarized in the video below.

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Figuring out how much topsoil or gravel you need is a tricky business. Below I’ll take you through how our material calculator works and how much various trucks can carry. Be sure to check out our new video for step-by-step instructions on calculating how many cubic yards of material you need.

To visualize how many cubic yards or tons a pickup truck or dump truck can carry, check out our post, “What Does a Cubic Yard Look Like?”

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Women in Construction Week celebrates women in the construction industry and the contributions they make. We’re celebrating by learning more about the women who work at Washington Rock and how they contribute to our business. They describe their roles and their interests in their own words.

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We are saddened to report that Gary passed away this year after a battle with cancer. We decided to keep the Old Goat Farm story in the original format and hope you will get a sense of Gary’s amazing life through it.

Tucked away in the woods of Graham is a sprawling garden from the pages of a storybook. Swaths of flowers border a lawn that flows in different directions. Each garden bed is flush with hundreds of plants: fluffy peonies here, yellow clusters of ranunculus there, colonies of hosta winding like a forest stream. The colors and forms are endless.

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