The Safe Urban Garden Development Program is being conducted through a partnership between the University of Louisville’s Center for Environmental Policy and Management (CEPM) and The University of Kentucky/Jefferson County (KY) Cooperative Extension Service. The Safe Urban Garden Development Program is part of Louisville Metro Mayor's Healthy Hometown Movement and is funded through a grant to Louisville Metro from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The program expands the Cooperative Extension Service’s existing community garden program in Metro Louisville to:
- provide hands-on gardening workshops;
- provide assistance with garden site planning and development;
- produce and distribute safe gardening educational materials to the community;
- provide Cooperative Extension Service educational guides on safe gardening practices translated into 5 languages; and
- provide affordable soil testing.
Gardening in urban areas requires particular attention to issues of soil safety and contamination. This program provides resources and assistance to communities to help minimize the potential health risks associated with urban gardens, including raised beds and other container gardens. Assistance is also offered in understanding and making decisions about soil remediation (cleaning or removal). Ultimately the program aims to improve public health overall within Louisville Metro by providing well-researched and easily-accessible information and resources about urban gardening to increase the number of safe urban home and community gardens in the community. This in turn increases access to fresh safe local food, as well as the community level of physical activity through gardening.
The program includes:
- annual workshops
- demonstration projects on garden design and implementation