John G. McGrath — The Hale Center for Journalism
Urban gardeners can now access grant funds from the Kansas City Brownfields Program.
The program was set up by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to help growers identify environmental concerns when it comes to growing in an urban environment. The program offers soil testing and a visit to the site to inform owners about federal and state records of the site’s history. If the soil tests positive for contaminates, there are resources available through the program to help remedy the problem. One such fix is adding compost or mulch and constructing raised garden beds.
Andrew Bracker is the Brownfields coordinator for the Urban Redevelopment Division in the Kansas City, Mo., city planning office. He said there are simple things that gardeners can practice to keep and maintain a good garden. One of the simplest is hand-washing.
“The real risk is working with dirt,” Bracker said. ”Washing your hands, no matter what the soil is like, is always a good idea.”
For more information on this program and for tips on how to keep an urban garden safe, read this newsletter at Cultivate KC.