Rutgers Cooperative Extension works with urban communities to ensure their soil and water is safe for gardening. Through the bilingual “Garden Guardian” program (El Protector de Jardín), we train residents and gardeners how to test their soil for contamination.
Many urban areas have high levels of lead in the soil. Lead is a poisonous metal found in nature at very low levels. In urban areas lead is usually higher in the soil due to a history of leaded gasoline and increased traffic along roadways. In addition lead gets into the soil from old chipped paint from houses, and if there was industry in the area.
For more information about making sure your backyard, community, or school garden is safe contact Michele Bakacs at (732) 398-5274 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information is available:
. In Spanish and English.
. More technical information on lead in soil.
. On testing rain barrel water for gardening.
. Food safety, soil, and water testing recommendations for community and school gardens