Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Davidson Community Garden roadwork and minor asbestos cleanup almost complete

There has been a lot of activity at the Davidson Communkty Garden these past several weeks beyond just the harvests being brought in for the Ada Jenkins food pantry.

With the help of the Town Public Works Department, the landscaping and fence along Potts street was moved back to make way got the eventual Potts-Sloan-Beaty road project.  All reports are that the plants are doing well.  Also, some additional raised bed boxes have been installed which will prevent the loss of food production capacity.

All in all, what initially sounded like a change that could have significant implications, turned out to not be that bad.

Coming this week, there will also be some activity related to the ongoing asbestos cleanup being done by the EPA at a number of properties in the West Side neighborhood.

After testing the garden, the EPA did find trace amounts of  asbestos in the portion of the property closest to the road and fortunately not where food is produced and digging occurs.  Here is the latest information from the weekly garden email blast

A few weeks ago, a man from the EPA came by the garden to talk to us about asbestos testing results. Because of asbestos discovered near the warehouse on Depot Street, the EPA started testing properties nearby. They tested at the Community Garden and found no traces of asbestos in the garden area. In the grassy area from the picnic table to the road, however, they found the minimal testable level for EPA clean-up. EPA workers will come to the garden this Thursday and Friday to remove the top foot of soil, replace it with new soil, then lay turf and mulch. The positive outcome of this is (1) no traces of asbestos in the gardening areas and (2) a renewed grassy area!

aShortChronicle contacted the EPA to see if more detail was available.  According to EPA's Davina Marriccini, "EPA collected 2 composite samples in the community garden, one in the garden area itself and one north of the garden where the mulch, compost bins and picnic tables are located. Asbestos was found in the sample north of the garden at the lowest detectable level (detection limit of 0.25% at the 3-6" interval). EPA has coordinated with the property owner and the community group that oversees the garden to schedule cleanup within the next few weeks and answer questions. There is no immediate risk to people working in the garden harvesting vegetables. Please remember to wash hands and vegetables after working the garden."

Cleanup is scheduled for later this week.

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