Soil Assessment Guide for New City Allotment and Community Gardens in Toronto
Urban gardening is gaining momentum as a way to increase the availability of low cost, nutritious, culturally appropriate food; increase physical; improve mental health and community cohesion; and reduce carbon footprints. Many of the lands readily available in Toronto to create new community and allotment gardens were previously used for purposes other than food production. One of the identified barriers to opening new gardens in the City of Toronto is the potential for soil contamination from previous land uses. Staff were directed to work to remove barriers to urban gardening by City Council in 2007 and 2009.
Here is the proposed new approach for the City to assess the soil on sites being considered for urban gardens and their recommendations
The Steps of the Soil Assessment Guide for New City Allotment and Community Gardens:
The guide provides step-by-step instructions on the following:
Soil Assessment Guide for New City Allotment and Community Gardens
1. conducting a site visit and researching the history of the garden site,
2. determining if soil testing is required, and how to test the soil,
3. interpreting the soil testing results (where necessary), and
4. determining the appropriate level of exposure reduction for the garden site.
The guide will help the City assess urban soils for sites identified for new urban gardening initiatives. The guide provides an easy to follow framework for identifying sites that require no and low cost exposure reduction actions. The guide optimizes the use of City resources by streamlining the information required to make decisions about urban gardening while improving the protection of public health by reducing exposures to soil contaminants.
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Content last modified on January 05, 2012, at 12:07 PM EST