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- January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2013
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impact statement impact
- Science-based outreach materials about mitigating soil contamination to protect human health and preserve soil quality have broad-reaching impacts on community health, well-being, and economic security. Program success will be measured through evaluation of stakeholder implementation of effective management strategies and behaviors to reduce exposures to soil contamination. The anticipated impacts of this project on public health include improved health of gardeners and other community members through the use of healthy gardening practices and behaviors and effective management strategies to reduce exposures to soil contaminants. Additionally, project research findings aim to inform public health policies and programs to encourage community-based awareness about both the benefits and risks of urban gardening to improve public health.
impact statement issue
- Urban community gardens are a source of affordable, locally grown, healthy foods. Gardens also provide urban green space, opportunities for recreation and community building activities, and many benefits for public health. There are hundreds of community gardens in New York City alone, and many in other urban areas across New York state. However, the extent and effects of soil contamination in many urban areas are unknown. Existing programs and resources do not fully address the questions and concerns that gardeners and others have about soil testing, managing gardens and soils, and protecting public health.
impact statement response
- Through the support of the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and other sources, we have formed a community‐research partnership that includes Cornell University researchers and extension educators, the New York State Department of Health, gardening organization GreenThumb, and gardeners and other partners. Our project aims to: (1) Address the need for information and resources about soil contaminants in urban gardens and (2) Help gardeners and others make informed decisions for healthy soils and healthy communities. We are working towards these goals through research, development of public health action strategies, and education. We are incorporating input and ideas from gardeners and gardening groups, other partners from the community, government, not‐for‐profit groups, colleges and universities, and other interested organizations.
impact statement summary
- Urban community gardens provide many benefits; however, garden soils (and urban soils in particular) can contain contaminants that may pose risks to human health. The nature and extent of contamination in many areas remain poorly understood. In addition to this knowledge gap, gardeners and other community stakeholders have identified a need for support in considering risks associated with soil contamination and implementing strategies to reduce those risks. A community-research partnership aims to address community concerns through collaborative research to inform the development of education and public health action strategies. Key project activities include: (1) Assessing soil and vegetable contaminant levels (and other properties) and human exposures through activities in urban community gardens, and evaluating the effectiveness of management strategies to mitigate associated potential health risks; (2) Translating research findings into effective education and public health action strategies to reduce exposures to soil contaminants and potential risks; (3) Identifying future research needs related to potential exposures and risks for urban gardeners; and (4) Evaluating the success of education and outreach programs in addressing community concerns and reducing exposures to soil contaminants related to urban gardening activities.
- GreenThumb, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Partner (GreenThumb, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation)
- NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH Partner (New York State Department of Health)
- Shayler, Hannah Abigail Researcher
- Applied Research
- Shayler, Hannah Abigail Cornell Academic Staff