Soils are an essential component of urban systems: they hold, filter and allow infiltration of stormwater, support plant growth for habitat and agriculture, accumulate contaminants such as lead, sequester carbon, and are a point of contact for numerous citizens on a daily basis. Understanding how they function and how they can be improved to better suit the needs of communities is an important activity.
To further discussion in this area, several partners from the Working Group have joined to establish the inaugural Three Rivers Urban Soil Symposium, October 4-5th at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA. The symposium (Oct. 4) will feature a full day of talks and panels from national and local experts on mapping, remediation, green infrastructure, and climate. There will be a keynote address from Dr. Murray McBride of Cornell University. Thursday will conclude with a reception and poster session for graduate and professional researchers to share their work.
Day two of the event (Oct. 5) will be a full-day workshop on urban soil health, aimed at educating engaged community members, professionals, non-profit employees, and municipal officials on the principles of urban soil health, testing processes, understanding results, and remediation strategies. This day will also feature a roundtable discussion on composting with representatives from Pittsburgh City Planning, Ag Recycle, and Steel City Soils, as well as a talk on regenerative urban habitats with Nance Klehm of Social Ecologies (Chicago, IL). Additionally, Dr. Karen Hacker of the Allegheny Health Department will also discuss soils and contamination from a public health perspective.
Registration is $25 for a single-day, or $45 for both days (includes light breakfast, lunch, and Thursday hors d'oeuvres). Some scholarships are available for community members who wish to attend but find the cost burdensome. Please feel free to reach out firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with any questions or if your organization is interested in being a sponsor for the event. Check the event page for updates and a full agenda.