Safer Soil

Safe gardening and recreation in elevated soil-lead areas

Safe gardening and recreation in elevated soil-lead areas

Contact us

St. John's Safer Soil
c/o 14 Colonial St.
St. John's, NL
A1C 3M8

Phone: (709) 738-7542
Email: safersoil(at)gmail.com
Web: www.safersoil.ning.com
 

Getting Started

Happy spring to all! ...and welcome to St. John's Safer Soil, a project of Common Ground Community Development Corporation!

Now that the snow has melted, it is a great time to start planning for a lead safe yard!

On this page, you will find ample resources on simple landscaping and gardening methods to reduce or eliminate the risk of lead exposure.

The "Forum" section below contains a brochure with detailed information on lead safe yard planning, and other free resources. You can also browse the many links to online resources in the column on the left.

For a one-stop link to information on how to create a lead safe yard, go to Chapter 7 of the Lead Safe Yard Online Handbook at http://www.epa.gov/region1/leadsafe/pdf/entire_document.pdf

Stay tuned here and at our "Safer Soil" Facebook page for upcoming workshops, garden tours and other events during the coming spring and summer.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Lori Heath, Common Ground Executive Director and St. John's Safer Soil Project Coordinator at 709-753-3594 or safersoil@ning.com.

Blog Posts

St. John's Safer Soil Joins the 2013 FEASt Fest!

On Saturday, April 13, St. John's Safer Soil participated in the 5th Annual FEASt FEST, organized by Food Education Action St. John's (FEASt) at the Foran/Greene room at St. John's City Hall.

As always, a great time was had by all!

St. John's Safer Soil displayed information on lead safe gardening and landscaping and we all enjoyed the informative presentations given by Matt Middleton, on saving money while gardening; Danilo Gonzales, on how to grow food year round; and Genevieve and Angela, on sprouting!

What an amazing community of foodies and gardeners! Well done!

Posted by Lori Heath on April 24, 2013 at 9:00am

Oct. 20 - "Putting Your Garden to Bed" and "Lead Safe Yard Planning" Workshop at St. John's Farmers' Market

On Saturday, October 20, St. John’s Safer Soil and Seed to Spoon will extend the FEASt workshop series at the St. John’s Farmers’ Market by hosting a free public workshop , “Putting Your Garden to Bed.” It will take place at 11:00 am in the St. John’s Safer Soil tent, at the Lions’ Club Chalet (Bonaventure Avenue, behind the Remax Centre). No registration is necessary.

 

Now that fall is here and the winter is approaching, learn how to prepare your garden for the winter and for a bountiful 2013!

 

The workshop will include:

  • soil nutrient testing and soil preparation
  • monitoring and adjusting soil acidity
  • planting trees and shrubs
  • season extension tips
  • cool temperature vegetables
  • soil lead testing and lead safe yard planning
  • landscape planning
  • ...and more!

Posted by Lori Heath on October 14, 2012 at 12:30pm

Autumn Garden Party and "Year Round Vertical Gardening" Workshop on Sat., Sept. 22, 2012!



Join Common Ground and St. John’s Safer Soil for an Autumn Garden Party behind the Gathering Place, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, from noon to 3pm!



We will begin at noon with a workshop on “Year Round Vertical Gardening,” featuring information on gardening indoors
and outdoors for small spaces, easy and simple production techniques and technologies for year round food production, how to prepare the home for this kind of production, what kind of materials are required and best plants to use. The workshop will be led by Luis Reyes, Katherine Meneses and Danilo Gonzalez.


The workshop will be followed at 1:00 pm by a barbecue, lively music and family fun! You can also take in a garden tour including information on lead safe gardening, and see our new greenhouse and new garden layout!…



Continue

Posted by Lori Heath on September 13, 2012 at 6:30am

Open Garden Day on Sunday September 9, 2012!

St. John's Safer Soil will be participating in FEASt’s fourth annual Open Garden Day on Sunday, September 9, 2012  from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm!

Drop by our demonstration garden behind the Gathering Place to see our new garden layout, our brand new greenhouse and new biochar field trial! You can also learn everything you need to know about planning a lead safe garden. (Those who drop by for a brief tour will qualify for a prize!)


From the FEASt website at http://www.feastnl.ca/...
"Open Garden Day is a self-guided tour of some of St. John’s many food gardens. Home gardens, community gardens, demonstration projects and art installations have all featured in past tours."

"Open Garden Day is a great oportunity to share your experiences with beginning gardeners, to learn from more seasoned food growers, and to have some great conversations with fellow food lovers and food security advocates."

For more information, you can also visit the Open Garden Day Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/events/143306722476461/

Posted by Lori Heath on September 2, 2012 at 10:30am

Latest St. John's Safer Soil Brochure!

Here is the latest St. John's Safer Soil Brochure, which gives lots of tips on soil testing, lead safe gardening and landscaping and other lead safety tips!Latest%20Brochure%20July%2020%202012.pdf

Posted by Lori Heath on July 20, 2012 at 1:00pm

Free Public Workshop - Designing a Lead Safe Yard or Vegetable Garden with Special Guest Speaker!



May 12 Free Public Workshop in St. John’s

“Designing a Lead Safe Yard or Vegetable Garden”

 

ST. JOHN’S - On Saturday, May 12, St. John’s Safer Soil and LeadNL will host a free public workshop on ‘Designing a Lead Safe Yard or Vegetable Garden.’  The workshop will be led by Luisa Oliveira, Boston-based landscape architect, city planner and initiator of the ‘Safer Soil’ Program that began in New England and has been emulated here in St. John’s.  Luisa will speak about her experience and the issue of lead in urban soil, issues related to vegetable gardening in areas with elevated soil lead levels, how to conduct soil tests, and the importance of landscape design for lead safety.  Luisa will also guide participants through the process of designing a plan for their own residential yard or community garden, in order to make it safe for children and for growing food.  The workshop is especially relevant to residents of the downtown area of St. John’s, where elevated soil lead levels have been recorded.

Free Public Workshop

When: Saturday, May 12, 2012, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

 

Where: St. John’s City Hall – Foran/Greene Room

 

Speakers:

Luisa Oliveira, Senior Planner for Landscape Design at the City of Somerville, MA

Dr. Trevor Bell, Professor of Geography, Memorial University and Principal Investigator, LeadNL

Lori Heath, Executive Director, Common Ground and  Project Coordinator, St. John’s Safer Soil

Recent…

Continue

Posted by Lori Heath on May 1, 2012 at 9:30pm

Oct 1 St. John’s Safer Soil Workshop - Autumn Lead-Safe Garden Planning - St. John’s Farmers’ Market

On Saturday, October 1st, St. John’s Safer Soil will conduct a free workshop on

Autumn Lead-Safe Garden Planning at the St. John’s Farmers’ Market.

 

Autumn is a great time to plan for a lead safe garden, for early enjoyment of your garden

in the spring!

 

 Workshop topics include soil testing, preparing new soil, building garden beds and containers

and landscape planning for lead safety.

 

The workshop will take place at 11:00 am as part of the FEASt summer workshop series.

The Farmers’ Market is located at the Lion’s Club Chalet on Bonaventure Avenue.

 

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St. John’s Safer Soil is a project of Common Ground, a new non-profit organization which promotes environmentally and economically sustainable agriculture and community development.

 

The project is made possible with funding from Environment Canada’s EcoAction Community Fund, the Home Depot – Evergreen Rebuilding Nature Grant and the Home Depot – Evergreen Green Grant.

Posted by Lori Heath on September 27, 2011 at 5:00pm

Garden Open 12-2 on Thursdays! Bring your lunch to enjoy outdoors!

St. John’s Safer Soil

Lead Safe Gardening and Landscaping

Demonstration Garden Tours at the Gathering Place

 

Are you concerned about lead in city soil? St. John’s Safer Soil promotes safe city gardening and recreation in areas with elevated soil lead levels.

 

During the summer and fall, Safer Soil will conduct garden tours at its demonstration garden, behind the Gathering Place, at the north side of the Basilica parking lot.

 

The garden will be open on Thursdays from 12 to 2 until the end of October. Follow the sign to the garden out back and bring your lunch to enjoy outdoors! Or contact Lori Heath at 738-7542, or safersoil@gmail.com, to arrange a time that is convenient for you.

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Posted by Lori Heath on August 31, 2011 at 7:19am

Lead Safe Gardening Workshop - Aug. 6, 2011, St. John's Farmers' Market, 11:00 am

St. John’s Safer Soil

Lead Safe Gardening Workshop  - FEASt Workshop Series

St. John’s Farmers’ Market

Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 11:00 am

 

On Saturday, August 6, St. John’s Safer Soil will conduct a free workshop on Lead Safe Gardening at the St. John’s Farmers’ Market, located at the Lion’s Club Chalet on Bonaventure Avenue. The workshop will take place at 11:00 am at the FEASt (Food Education Action St. John’s) table, as part of the FEASt summer workshop series.

 

Recent studies have found elevated lead levels in the soil of St. John’s, particularly in the older parts of the city. St. John’s Safer Soil conducts education and capacity building activities to promote safe gardening and recreation in urban areas, given the questionable soil conditions found in many urban areas. Workshop topics will include how to conduct soil testing for lead, how to grow food safely in urban areas, simple landscaping projects and other tips to prevent lead exposure, and more.

 

During the summer and fall, St. John’s Safer Soil will also conduct garden tours at its demonstration garden behind the Gathering Place, situated at the north side of the Basilica Parking Lot. The demonstration garden promotes safe city gardening and sustainable agriculture.



To arrange a free garden tour for your family, workplace or community group, please contact Lori Heath at 738-7542 or safersoil@gmail.com. Educational materials are also available at our website at www.safersoil.ning.com.

 

St. John’s Safer Soil is a project of Common Ground, a new non-profit organization which promotes environmentally and economically sustainable agriculture and community development.

 

The project is made possible with funding from…

Continue

Posted by Lori Heath on July 29, 2011 at 11:42am

Safer Soil Garden Tours at the Gathering Place

During the Summer and Fall of 2011, St. John’s Safer Soil will conduct free garden tours at the demonstration garden behind the Gathering Place, situated at the north side of the Basilica Parking Lot.


The garden promotes simple techniques for safe gardening and recreation in areas with elevated soil lead levels. Learn about safe city gardening, how to test soil for lead, landscaping and other tips to prevent lead exposure, using plants to clean the soil, and more. We also conduct other demonstrations of sustainable urban agricultural practices.


To arrange a free garden tour and presentation for your family, workplace or community group, please contact Lori Heath, Safer Soil Project Coordinator at 738-7542 or safersoil@gmail.com.

Educational materials are also available at our website at www.safersoil.ning.com.



Posted by Lori Heath on July 5, 2010 at 6:30pm

Forum

CCME Canadian Soil Quality Guidelines

Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment Guidelines for Lead

Started by Lori Heath Aug 8, 2008.

Gardening and Heavy Metal Soils

Powerpoint presentation given by Costa Kasimos of MUN Botanical Garden during Safer Soil Community Forum on how to use safe gardening practices and landscaping methods to prevent lead exposure.

Started by Lori Heath Jun 3, 2008.

St. John's Lead - Preliminary Study

A preliminary study on St. John's soil lead, conducted by Dr. Trevor Bell at MUN Dept. of Geography.

Started by Lori Heath May 5, 2008.

CMHC Lead Fact Sheet

Here is a fact sheet from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation on lead issues and ways to reduce or eliminate risk of exposure. Another document, "Lead in Your Home" can be downloaded for…Continue

Started by Lori Heath Apr 22, 2008.

 
 
 

Latest Activity

Christopher Hardy updated their profile
Mar 8
Profile IconChristopher Hardy and Sarah Morgan joined Safer Soil
Mar 8
Ron O'Brien is now a member of Safer Soil
Feb 18
Lori Heath posted a blog post

St. John's Safer Soil Joins the 2013 FEASt Fest!

On Saturday, April 13, St. John's Safer Soil participated in the 5th Annual FEASt FEST, organized by Food Education Action St. John's (FEASt) at the Foran/Greene room at St. John's City Hall.As always, a great time was had by all!St. John's Safer Soil displayed information on lead…See More
Apr 24, 2013
Lori Heath's discussion was featured
Nov 23, 2012
Lori Heath posted a discussion
Nov 23, 2012
Lori Heath's blog post was featured

Oct. 20 - "Putting Your Garden to Bed" and "Lead Safe Yard Planning" Workshop at St. John's Farmers' Market

On Saturday, October 20, St. John’s Safer Soil and Seed to Spoon will extend the FEASt workshop series at the St. John’s Farmers’ Market by hosting a free public workshop , “Putting Your Garden to Bed.” It will take place at 11:00 am in the St. John’s Safer Soil tent, at the Lions’ Club Chalet (Bonaventure Avenue, behind…See More
Oct 14, 2012
Lori Heath posted a blog post

Oct. 20 - "Putting Your Garden to Bed" and "Lead Safe Yard Planning" Workshop at St. John's Farmers' Market

On Saturday, October 20, St. John’s Safer Soil and Seed to Spoon will extend the FEASt workshop series at the St. John’s Farmers’ Market by hosting a free public workshop , “Putting Your Garden to Bed.” It will take place at 11:00 am in the St. John’s Safer Soil tent, at the Lions’ Club Chalet (Bonaventure Avenue, behind…See More
Oct 14, 2012

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