Chicago, Ill., September 9th, 2016—A vacant lot in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago will become a community garden, thanks to Beverly Moores, who has offered use of the lot for a local organization to demonstrate a technique for neutralizing the health effects of lead in soil.
In late September, the non-profit Chicago-based Lead Abatement Resource Center (LARC) will be undertaking a project to apply a natural, organic substance made of pulverized fish bones to the 3,000 square foot lot at 5605 S. Paulina which was acquired from the City of Chicago through the City’s Large Lot Program.
The substance, with a trade name of “Apatite II,” chemically bonds with lead, and allows the lead to pass through a body without entering the blood stream.
Christy Weber Landscapes will aid in site and material logistics on the project, strip the lot of all existing vegetation and rototill the soil to a depth of approximately six inches in preparation for spreading the fish bones. We are happy to have Christy Webber on-board for this project and look forward to including their expertise on future projects.
Volunteers from Growing Home, a local non-profit organization that promotes urban gardening and job training, will assist in spreading the Apatite II evenly on the lot. Other folks from community garden organizations may also help by mixing it into the soil with rototillers.
Next Spring after completion of the project, Beverly Moores would like the site to become a community garden where fruits and vegetables can be grown for safe consumption.
Soil samples from the lot will be taken and tested for lead before and several months after the Apatite II is mixed with the soil. This will show how much lead has been neutralized by the Apatite II.
LARC was founded in 2014 with a mission to collect, evaluate, invent, implement, advocate and research effective solutions to lead hazards in the environment and provide educational resources through cooperative partnerships with community organizations, government agencies and private sector business. LARC is committed to reduce the incidence of childhood lead poisoning, known to be harmful to brain development.
“Children in the Englewood neighborhood have been shown to have high blood lead levels,” says Brian LoVetere, acting president of LARC. “We want to do a project in Englewood and test the effect of Apatite II on the soil to show that lead can be reduced by using this soil additive.
“After this project is completed, LARC would like to partner with other potential supporters for projects on additional sites in Englewood.”
Please go to www.larcusa.org for more information on lead in the environment.