Greenpoint Lead in Garden Soil Outreach Project 2020-03-04T11:45:27+00:00

Project Description

Greenpoint Lead in Garden Soil Outreach Project

Project Lead: North Brooklyn Neighbors (formerly Neighbors Allied for Good Growth)
2015 Project Partners: Brooklyn College’s Urban Soils Institute; Columbia University; Barnard College; National Wildlife Federation’s Greenpoint Eco-Schools; Greenpoint Reformed Church; Newtown Creek Alliance; Eagle Street Rooftop Farm; and GrowNYC
2018 Project Partners: National Wildlife Federation’s Greenpoint Eco-Schools; Newtown Creek Alliance; New York City Department of Sanitation; New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
Project Location: Greenpoint-wide
Total GCEF Funding: $92,527
2015 GCEF Grant: $32,527 2018 GCEF Grant: $60,000
Total Matching Contributions: $6,345
2015 Matching Contribution: $6,345 2018 Matching Contribution: $0
2015 Project Completed: July 2017 2018 Project Completed: July 2019

In 2015, through a competitive process, North Brooklyn Neighbors (NBN) received a $32,527 GCEF grant (and provided $6,345 in matching funds) to conduct a public outreach and education program focused on good gardening practices for reducing lead exposure for home, and community gardeners in Greenpoint. Major activities funded by GCEF included developing and delivering an education campaign and related materials (including an instructional brochure, postcards, and social media) on the topic of lead in soils tailored to Greenpoint residents, delivering 5 community workshops on lead in soils and gardening practices to reduce exposures to Greenpoint residents and developing a lesson plan and teacher training for Greenpoint elementary schools focused on reducing lead in soils. The project also provided free soil testing for workshop attendees.

In 2018, through a competitive process, NBN was awarded $60,000 in additional funding to further inform Greenpoint residents about the potential for lead in local soils, lead toxicity and risks, and best practices for minimizing lead exposures. Major activities included conducting 2 types of workshops in the community, one a basic level workshop designed for individuals without any knowledge about lead in soils, and the other an advanced level workshop intended for people interested in developing a deeper understanding of the issue.

More information about the project can be found on NBN’s website at:

  • Developed online media regarding Greenpoint-specific lead soil information including a dedicated webpage to serve as a clearinghouse for the project’s education resources
  • In 2015, distributed 500 brochures in English, Spanish and Polish and 500 postcards at popular community spaces around Greenpoint and to local organizations and groups
  • In 2015, conducted 5 community workshops attended by 85 people on the topic of safe gardening practices to reduce human exposure to lead-contaminated soil, and included hands-on activities such as using a microscope to analyze soil samples
  • Created a Lead in Soil Educational Toolkit, a Greenpoint-specific 25-page document that contains five lesson plans, which was disseminatedat PTA meetings, school fairs, classrooms, and digitally (thru email and on the NBN website)
  • In 2015, reached a total of 350 residents through a combination of PTA meetings, workshops, and other events
  • In 2018, conducted 12 community workshops, 8 basic level attended by 73 participants and 4 advanced level attended by 38 participants, for a total of 111 participants
  • In 2018, partnered with NYC Department of Sanitation, Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roof & Community Engagement Center and McCarren Park Demonstration Garden to host 4 compost giveaways, providing 360 bags (or seven tons) of compost to dozens of Greenpoint residents
  • In 2018, developed and distributed two brochures in three languages (English, Polish and Spanish): one onsoil safety basics and the other on Greenpoint’s toxic environmental legacy
  • In 2018, reached a total number of 900 residents through a combination of meetings, workshops, awareness campaigns and other events