Former Halkwell parish councillors Bill Roger and Ian Foster went to the site at Spencers Park near Clements Hall Leisure Centre, Hawkwell.
The pair worked to ensure the area became a community beauty spot by planting trees and other plants and creating a water dam.
Some of the plants came from their own gardens.
They stood together in the same spot to recreate pictures taken at the time of the planting.
They said it was very cold when they met for a photoshoot for the planting and there was snow covering the ground.
They were pleased to revisit the site and see how the trees have matured over the time.
Mr Foster has always seen the land at as a “magnificent asset for Hawkwell.”
A five year plan was drawn up to preserve the site with a budget of £50,000.
Mr Foster now 69 and living in East Halkwell said it is everything they had hoped for.
He said “It was owned by Spencers Nursery who built homes on half the site but gave the rest of the land to Rochford Council.
“There was talk of turning the land into a football pitch which was met with by anger from residents.
“The homes are very nice there, we were concerned about the rest of the site being homes as well.
“We as the parish council have a lease with about 100 years left so are pleased we have preserved it.
“We created a good business plan and sorted this out.
“We planted about 3,000 trees and built a dam which has become a wildlife pond.”
Mr Foster said he was litter picking in the area about six weeks ago and decided to contact The Echo for an updated story.
He said he was so pleased to revisit the site and recreate the pictures in the original Echo article.
He said it has become a lovely peaceful place popular with residents.
The former councillor said: “We had talked about preserving the piece of land and glad we have done, as it had become a rubbish dumping ground.
“I contacted Bill and he was happy to take part in an updated story.
“We look forward to see it mature into a forest of trees.”