Are you a parent, educator, mentor? Are you a community gardener? Backyard gardener? Do you interact with children and/or the soil? Maybe you know people that do!
In 2006, a study by Caravanos found that almost 90% of dust samples taken throughout NYC’s five boroughs exceeded the U.S. government’s environmental and housing standards for acceptable lead concentration. Environmental pollutants and heavy metals like lead have a health effect that scientists are still still working to figure out. The good news is, lead blood levels have decreased dramatically since the late 90’s when it was officially banned from gasoline.
With Greenpoint and North Brooklyn’s industrial history, NAG is work on an educational project regarding lead in soil.
NAG is already gearing up for an exciting spring. Through our Lead in Garden Soil Outreach Project (a GCEF project), Brooklyn College Urban Soils Institute and NAG are bringing THREE more free soil testing workshops to Greenpoint. Contact Allison at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get involved with planning and outreach!
We’ve been in touch with the New York City Parks Department who have been working hard to process all the Christmas trees from this past holiday season though their program called Mulchfest. Last year they turned 30,000 trees into wood chips for mulch! They have agreed to attend our upcoming spring workshops and giveaway mulch– just another reason to be excited.
What have we been doing since winter hit?
While it’s been pretty cold to be out in our gardens, here at NAG we’ve been working on an Educational Toolkit regarding lead in soil and safety. It is a great tool for teachers and parents when looking to educate the youth about soil, lead contamination and safety. Raising a child in this beautiful city has many positives- but there are also cautions to be taken.
The Toolkit will provide our community with lesson plans, background information, interactive activities and printable handouts to promote safety through education. We believe that young people, at almost any age, can understand environmental health issues. For younger children, we focus exclusively on soil safety because they are the most susceptible to lead poisoning.
We’ve also spent some with the young minds of Greenpoints Eco School’s program. NAG’s own Allison and Olivia took a trip to facilitate a timeline activity with PS110, PS31 and PS34. Through this process, we were able to directly educate around 50 different young 4th and 5th graders about Greenpoints industrial history. We want young people to understand how lead got into our soil. Understanding the full process allows them to attain information. Connected to a Greenpoint school? Contact Allison!
NAG’s board chair Rita Pasarell and staff organizer, Allison Currier, presented at the Brooklyn College Soil Symposium. Within our ten minute presentation we gave background on soil contamination in Greenpoint and North Brooklyn while providing safety tips and engaging in an important human health discussion. A room of soil experts allowed for important discussion between community advocates and scientists. Check out the video on our facebook page!
Stay updated through our emails, social media and blog posts for events and collaborations to come!