Grounded Strategies is in the Hilltop Neighborhood! We are working to address lead contamination in the soils of urban neighborhoods. Soil lead contamination is often found in vulnerable communities due to a lack of available funding and high numbers of structural demolition. Currently, the city has not adopted any legislation that requires contractors to practice the lead-safe demolition guidelines. As a result, neighborhoods like the Hilltop, experience higher rates of lead-related health consequences that can be directly tied to these unsafe demolitions. We proposed to address this issue of lead contamination in urban communities by directly engaging residents directly through a citizen science approach. We’re accomplishing this through recruitment and a series of hands-on workshops. So far, we have been in communication with the members and Chaplin Christine of Abiding Missions who has also given us access to do education and soil testing on the church’s property.

We have also continued to build partnerships with other organizations currently developing remediation techniques and information. Allegheny County Conservation District has been a reliable partner and has let us use their XRF soil sampling technology. This XRF machine uses analytical techniques to determine the elemental composition of the soil. In our case, this machine helps us detect the amount of lead in a soil sample along with other heavy metals like iron, copper, zinc, etc.

Along with the ACCD, DECO Resources continues to support our work in this field with their expertise on the practical application of various interventions and we look forward to building on that body of work.