Reusing Potentially Contaminated Landscapes: Growing Gardens in Urban Soils

EPA Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

Nationwide

Situation

Communities are looking at urban gardening as an opportunity to improve the health of residents while using properties that might otherwise be idle. Supporting a community garden provides more benefits than just eating healthy food. Community gardens can increase activity levels, encourage children to eat fruits and vegetables, provide low-cost, healthy food to underprivileged community members, grow community pride, and encourage social interactions. However, residents choosing to build a garden on a site formerly used for industrial activities need to make sure the site is safe for gardening and growing food.

 

Solution

EPA collected information about common contaminants found in urban soils and best practices for gardening in those soils.

 

Outcome

This information was assembled into an easy-to- read overview for communities interested in growing gardens on properties. The report discusses how to determine if the property has contaminants to practices for ensuring gardeners stay safe and food is safe for eating.

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