Brunswick, NJ: Lead Issues at Suydam Street Community Gardennear Rutgers U.
- Subject: [cg] Brunswick, NJ: Lead Issues at Suydam Street Community Gardennear Rutgers U.
- From: Adam36055@aol.com
- Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 07:39:12 EST
The Daily Targum (Rutgers University) - Metro
Lead poisons soil at downtown garden
By Paul Kaplan
The city's Community Health and Environmental Coalition met Wednesday to
discuss the future of the Suydam Street Community Garden located downtown between
Livingston and Lee avenues.
Recent soil tests have shown that the perimeter of the garden has hazardous
levels of lead. As a result, the garden has been closed to children.
After an April 2004 symposium, five lead tests were performed, but the
results were mixed. Some areas showed high levels of lead, while others showed
CHEC-NB consulted with the city-based Environmental Research Foundation and
the University's New Jersey Urban Ecology Program to perform more thorough
tests. The results came back clearly showing areas of soil with very high lead
contamination, as well as safe areas, and the garden was officially closed.
A demonstration garden may be set up to show the city's citizens the dangers
of lead in an urban environment. The soil of the garden would be covered by
cloth and compost. The garden would then provide a safe and educational area for
children to play, said University Professor Anne Bellows of the Food Policy
Bellows also encouraged her food systems class to participate in the
restoration of the garden. Two of her students from Cook College, junior Christin
Triantafilidis and senior Cheryl Zienkiewicz, were present at the meeting. Cheryl
said she has worked on a student organic farm at the college and looks forward
to helping with the Suydam Street Garden.
The garden would be an improvement on the diet of city residents, Zienkiewicz
"There's a big epidemic of childhood obesity. Most of the childhood obesity
is in cities where they do not have much area to play," Zienkiewicz said. "The
good thing about gardening is they have access to healthy vegetables."
CHEC-NB is currently writing a community-capacity building grant to the
Healthier New Brunswick 2010 Initiative that seeks funding to start the overhaul of
the garden. The Healthier New Brunswick 2010 Initiative was set up to help
children and future generations through community and institutional
Money received would be spent to purchase cloth, compost, tools and install a
water tap, which garden coordinator Paul Sauers said would provide clean
water to workers.
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