“Healthy Soils for Healthy Communities" Initiative
Soil is the foundation of life. It has great potential to mitigate current and future climate impacts by sequestering carbon, improving water supply and water quality, supporting plant growth, enhancing food production, and maintaining healthy communities, especially in urban and peri-urban areas where more than 80% of Americans live, work, and play.
About the Initiative
The objectives of the “Healthy Soils for Healthy Communities Initiative” include: 1) Elevating healthy soils as the “brown” in green infrastructure policy, planning, management, and investments in both the built and natural environments; 2) Increasing public and policy-maker awareness of the importance and potential of healthy soils in building climate resilience, sustaining urban ecosystem functions, and enhancing public health; 3) Conducting cutting-edge science and research that gets used to fill the information gaps; 4) Facilitating policy changes to promote and support healthy urban soil projects; and 5) Empowering communities with science-based information, best management practices, and practical tools.
About Phase One
As the first phase of the initiative, we are conducting a needs assessment aiming to: 1) determine the current status of Los Angeles’s urban soil health; 2) identify the most pressing urban soil issues and community needs through community consultation and outreach; and 3) provide a framework for future work regarding urban soil research, policy, public education and community engagement in the region.
TreePeople hosted an online Los Angeles Urban Soil Symposium on June 26, 2020 which was attended by over 150 people. It is part of the "Healthy Soils for Healthy Communities Initiative Phase One: Needs Assessment" project, funded by Accelerate Resilience L.A., a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. The symposium discussed general concepts, issues, and potential solutions related to urban soils, Los Angeles’s soils, a case study from New York City as well as TreePeople’s new “Healthy Soils for Healthy Communities” Initiative. Participants also had opportunities to share their insights about L.A.’s soil needs, challenges, and potential solutions and to interact with others from the region and beyond during the breakout group discussions. The symposium program is available here.