Smyth-Fernwald Soil Testing for Community Engaged Land Usage Planning

Project Leads: Natalia Semeraro

Sponsor: Berkeley Food Institute (BFI)

TGIF Mini-Grant: $1,640.00

Project Theme: Agriculture & Food Justice

Project Location

2017 Application Submission

Status: In Progress

Project Description: The Smyth-Fernwald grant is a first step in establishing a community-engaged “fertile ground” in a 4.5-acre tract of University land with a history of fires, erosion, seismic risks, and possible environmental contamination. The grant project will assess the ecological health of the site through soil testing to determine what remediation efforts and soil amendments are needed to ensure safety and soil quality. Soil testing is a component of a larger goal for community engagement around the Smyth-Fernwald Tract: The effort will continue through meetings with nearby groups of neighbors, students, educators and others to draft a proposal to the campus administration for land use. The grant will result in a replicable model for use at other sites that includes consistent consultation with community members, reduced safety risk, improved ecological and public health, increased biodiversity, and future food production.

Goals: 
Test for contamination by metals or PHC’s.
- Test for fertility with nutrient content.
- Utilize results to implement remediation process and encourage student and community engagement throughout the development of the site.

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.