With no other place to go, a mother pulls her van into a newly graveled lot. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s a godsend. It’s lit with a streetlight, and there’s running water, portable bathrooms, and outlets where she can charge her phone.

The entire lot is fenced, and the gate locks at night. Her kids can play in the field nearby. In the morning, there will be a hot meal ready at the church next door, and her whole family will be given bagged lunches filled with sandwiches, fruit, chips, drinks, and treats.

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Millions of acres of American wetlands have been destroyed since the late 1700s, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Early settlers viewed wetlands as disease-ridden swamps that impeded travel and agricultural development. Their solution was to drain the wetlands and turn them into farmable land.

In the mid 1960s, the port was growing in Tacoma. Shipping channels were being expanded, and more land was needed for industrial activities. Like many wetlands in the area, Wapato Creek was diverted into a channelized ditch. Its former path was filled with material removed from the waterways, solving both the need for expanded waterways and more land. The channelized ditch ran along 12th Street East in Fife, then followed Alexander Avenue west to a culvert that feeds into Blair Waterway.

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We’re excited to announce that gift cards are available for purchase! They feature a beautiful new design by artist Zoe Radford. Our gift cards make the perfect stocking stuffer

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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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Figuring out how much landscaping or construction material you need is a tricky business. Below are some diagrams to help you visualize how much product a pickup truck can carry. We also help you visualize how much various kinds of dump trucks can carry.

You can also learn how to calculate how many cubic yards of material you need in our article-video combo, “How Many Cubic Yards Do I Need?”

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