FREE! Understanding and Addressing Soil Contamination
From backyard growing to community and boulevard gardening, ensuring your soil is healthy is the first step to any urban agriculture project.
Soils can sometimes contain heavy metals and other contaminants as a result of our industrial past and present land use, or proximity to busy roads. Potentially toxic soils can be a concern for food gardens as contaminants may be taken up into or onto our veggies and fruits.
This workshop will provide:
- An introduction to soil contamination;
- How to find out more about your soil quality;
- How to understand soil test results;
- What to do if you do have elevated metals or other contaminants in your garden
- And best practices for growing food in healthful ways.
Most importantly: bring your Healing City Soils test results for interpretation! Copies of individual results will not be on site for reference. Students Martyna and Jordie from Royal Roads University, who've worked intensely with Healing City Soils in 2019 through their Bachelors of Environmental Science Program, will be available to review your test results and offer advice on moving forward with your urban gardening.
Steeve Deschênes obtained both his B.Sc. in Physical Geography and his M.Sc. in Spatial Statistics and Soil Contamination Modelling from the University of Victoria. He is currently working as a Spatial Information Analyst at GeoBC in Victoria and also collaborates with the Compost Education Centre on the Healing City Soils project. He is a member of the Pacific Regional Society of Soil Science and the Canadian Society of Soil Science. He has received training, education, and inspiration from
This workshop is co-facilitated by Healing City Soils (HCS) Program Coordinator and CEC Representative, Alexis Hogan; HCS mapping and GIS Expert, Steeve Deschenes; and Royal Roads University Healing City Soils 2019 Team Members, Martyna Tomczynski and Jordi Fisher.
Our facilitators will be present with a breadth of knowledge to help equip participants with knowledge around soil contamination and best practices for gardening with soils bearing higher than normal amounts of heavy metals. Furthermore, facilitators will assist participants in interpreting their soil testing results as well as planning the next steps for the health of their garden's soil and plants.
The Compost Education Centre is located on unceded and occupied Indigenous territories, specifically the land of the Lekwungen speaking people—the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations. These nations are two of many, made up of individuals who have lived within the porous boundaries of what is considered Coast Salish, Nuu-Chah-Nulth and Kwakwa'wakw Territory (Vancouver Island) since time immemorial. At the CEC we seek to respect, honour and continually grow our own understandings of Indigenous rights and history, and to fulfill our responsibilities as settlers, who live and work directly with the land and its complex, vital ecologies and our diverse, evolving communities.