Greenpoint Lead in Garden Soil Outreach Project 2021-11-22T21:40:17+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: Urban Soils Institute at Brooklyn College; Columbia University; Barnard College; Greenpoint Eco-Schools; Greenpoint Reformed Church; Newtown Creek Alliance; Eagle Street Rooftop Farm; and GrowNYC
2018 Project Partners: Greenpoint Eco-Schools; Newtown Creek Alliance; NYC Department of Sanitation; NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
Project Location: Greenpoint-wide
Total GCEF Funding: $108,867
2015 GCEF Grant: $32,527 2018 GCEF Grant: $60,000
2020 GCEF Grant: $16,340
Total Matching Contributions: $6,345
2015 Matching Contribution: $6,345
2015 Project Completed: July 2017 2018 Project Completed: July 2019
2020 Project Completed: September 2021

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 for residential and community gardeners in Greenpoint focused the hazards of lead in soils as well as best practices for reducing exposure to lead. Major activities funded by the GCEF grant included developing and delivering an education campaign and related materials (including an instructional brochure, postcards, and social media) tailored to Greenpoint residents, and a lesson plan and teacher training for Greenpoint elementary schools, both focused on the hazards of lead in soils.  The project also delivered community workshops for Greenpoint residents on soil lead and gardening practices that reduce lead exposures. Free soil testing for lead was provided for workshop attendees.

In 2018, after another competitive process, NBN was awarded $60,000 in additional funding to further educate Greenpoint residents about lead in local soils, lead toxicity and risks, and best practices for minimizing their lead exposures. Major activities included conducting two 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.

In 2020, NBN was awarded $16,340 to purchase lead-testing equipment (i.e., an XRF Analyzer) in order to conduct analyses of soil samples for community residents and identify lead and other heavy metal soil contamination issues on their property. Under a partnership with New York University Medical School, the analyzer is calibrated by their state accredited environmental laboratory. GCEF funding also allowed for the testing of 50 soil samples and the sharing of resources at four virtual soil safety workshops to help homeowners understand how to limit soil-based heavy metal exposures.

For more information, visit North Brooklyn Neighbors’ Greenpoint Lead in Garden Soil page:

  • Created and distributed 500 instructional brochures and 500 postcards in the Greenpoint community (in English, Spanish and Polish) addressing the hazards of lead in soil and offered methods to limit exposure
  • Held 5 community workshops attended by 85 people on the topic of safe gardening practices to reduce exposure to lead in contaminated soil in 2015
  • Made a “Lead in Soil Educational Toolkit,” a Greenpoint-specific 25-page document that contains 5 lesson plans about lead, lead contamination, and ways to reduce lead exposure, which was disseminated at PTA meetings, school fairs, in classrooms, and online
  • Educated a total of 350 residents about lead in soil through a combination of PTA meetings, workshops, and other related events in 2015
  • Developed online materials with Greenpoint-specific lead soil information, including a dedicated webpage to serve as a clearinghouse for the project’s educational resources
  • Conducted 12 community lead workshops, 8 basic-level events attended by 73 participants and 4 advanced-level events attended by 38 participants, for a total of 111 participants, in 2018
  • Partnered with NYC Department of Sanitation, Kingsland Wildflowers and McCarren Park Urban Farm and Green Infrastructure Corridor to host 4 compost giveaways, providing 360 bags (equal to 7 tons) of compost to dozens of Greenpoint residents
  • Developed and distributed 2 additional brochures in English, Spanish, Polish: one on soil safety basics and the other on Greenpoint’s toxic environmental legacy in 2018
  • Communicated with a total number of 900 residents through a combination of meetings, workshops, awareness campaigns, and other events related to lead in soils in 2018
  • Purchased an XRF analyzer for testing Greenpoint residential soil samples for concentrations of lead and other heavy metals
  • Partnered with NYU Medical School’s state accredited environmental lab to calibrate the XRF analyzer
  • Tested 50 soil samples and shared a network of educational resources with homeowners on how to limit their exposures to soil-based harms at four virtual soil safety workshops