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Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities
A research and education partnership with urban gardeners.

Led by Cornell University, Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NYC, NYS Department of Health, and GreenThumb/NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.




Urban community gardens provide many benefits, yet garden soils can contain contaminants. The Healthy Soils project helps urban gardeners and other community members understand potential risks associated with soil contamination and implement healthy gardening practices. More information and project resources are listed below.


NEW NYS Community Garden Map
Our new map of more than 900 community gardens in New York State was based on the work of New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) as part of the Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities Project. We hope this map will help raise awareness of the large and growing number of community gardens in New York State which can provide nutritious food to communities and offer many other health, environmental and social benefits. We also hope the map will help potential community gardeners locate gardens in their areas and aid neighboring gardens in finding one another and sharing resources.

Urban Soil Contaminants and Soil Testing

Sources and Types of Contaminants • Collecting Garden Samples Understanding Soil Test Results

Healthy Gardening Practices

"What Gardeners Can Do", "Metals in Urban Garden Soils", and other resources

Healthy Soils Project Information and Research Manuscripts

Project information, research findings, and NYS Community Garden Map

Healthy Soils in the Media

Additional Resources for Urban Gardeners

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