Soil Contamination and Remediation

Join Lisa Bloodgood, Director of Horticulture and Stewardship at North Brooklyn Parks Alliance, to learn about legacy toxins in New York City – and to unpack what it means for the soil to be contaminated by these toxins. How does the health of soil and parks, much like air quality, serve as an indicator to how well the city is addressing the ongoing legacies of environmental injustices and environmental racism?

Discussion and questions are enthusiastically encouraged – bring questions along with you! Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Join Nando Rodriguez, one of the co-creators of the Hot Box Composting system, to learn about how this innovative method for urban composting came to be – and how his 30+ years of experience in environmental education continues to connect youth in Harlem to the soil hands-on. With a focus in restorative justice, Nando is working to take local composting to another level of community support and push local representatives to deepen participation in NYC.

Discussion and questions are enthusiastically encouraged – bring questions along with you! Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Nando Rodriguez was born and raised in the Lower East Side and the Dominican Republic. Raised in a single-parent household, his mother raised 6 children (older sisters helped with the little ones) and he was the youngest. His mother’s reasoning to send him away for a portion of his life was her fear of Nando following in the footsteps of his elder brothers, who were caught between the street life of Alphabet City. Nando spent 5 years in Bonao, D.R. He always felt the need to help others, especially his peers who were less fortunate, and in D.R. he would create spaces for his peers to play games, often inviting youth from other communities to join.

Nando eventually returned to NYC and enrolled in East Side Community High School. It was there that he was introduced to Open Road of NY, as well as The Brotherhood Sister Sol. With Open Road of NY, Nando started to connect his purpose on Earth with Mother Earth and began to assist Open Road with the development of the HotBox. Nando also worked on green space designing with participants of these selected communities using the Participatory Designed process and developing or redesigning green spaces for community engagement.

With The Brotherhood Sister Sol, Nando continues to empower youth to become leaders in their communities. Through love, support, resources and guidance, The Brotherhood Sister Sol team is able to create a Rites of Passage experience for all youth to question what’s not clear to them and speak up when they feel their voice is not being heard.

Instagram: @HotBox.Composting

Join Sashti Balasundaram, a social entrepreneur, innovator, and educator. He founded WeRadiate LLC, an AgTech company that develops smart sensors that digitally track data variables such as compost temperature and humidity. This technology makes it easier for operators to ensure healthy, high-quality standards. Sashti has vast knowledge in community composting; he was a teacher of the NYC Master Composter program, co-founded a community garden in Brooklyn, worked at the Lower East Side Ecology Center in NYC, and the Mayor’s Office in the City of Buffalo. We will dig deep into the importance and process of monitoring soil health, how compost can improve soil quality, and explore policy and opportunities for actionable change.

Discussion and questions are enthusiastically encouraged – bring questions along with you! Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Website: WeRadiate 
Instagram: @WeRadiateNY  
Linked-In: WeRadiate


Come celebrate Earth Day in Riverside Park! Dr. Robin Lovell, Ph.D. will be leading an interactive lecture exploring the ways that gender and identity intersect with food justice.

This casual event enthusiastically encourages participation and discussion amongst attendees – come with questions! Light snacks and refreshments are provided.

Robin Lovell, Ph.D. is a Professor of Geography in the Sociology Department at Manhattan College. His US-based research explores sustainable agriculture in the Hudson River Valley of New York. His research outside the US examines gender in agroecosystems of the Vietnamese Mekong River Delta. Dr. Lovell also has remote sensing and geography projects in the US and abroad, and a new project exploring how gender, climate change, and armed conflict interact. He is a dedicated teacher and researcher in the  food system and looks forward to sharing how we can all get involved in making NYC a more sustainable place.

Linked-In: Robin Lovell 
Twitter: @DrRobinJLovell 
Instagram: @dr.robin.lovell