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SPRING 2011
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Around the Quad

Healthier Urban Gardens

Vegetables
Provided

Urban gardens give resource-poor families greater access to fresh and affordable produce and an opportunity to connect with their community.

But what if they are contaminated with lead, arsenic, or other dangerous metals? With the help of a $1.25 million grant, a team of CALS scientists and Cornell Cooperative Extension specialists, led by Crop and Soil Sciences Professor Murray McBride, is assessing soil and vegetable contaminant levels in gardens in New York City, Ithaca, and other New York cities to understand the health risks and find ways to mitigate those risks.

Luckily, an initial study of 44 gardens in NYC found that less than 10 percent had high levels of lead, and gardens with raised beds were less likely to be contaminated.


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