top of page

Safe Roots: Urban Growing & Soil Safety

The Safe Roots program began at GGWNY in 2013-14 thanks to funding from the Patrick Lee Foundation and LUSH Cosmetics, in partnership with Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market and the International Institute of Buffalo. The program was launched to help our newest American neighbors who were resettling in Buffalo to learn about Buffalo's soil history, including the risk of lead poisoning by growing food in the ground. Funding helped to publish illustrative guidebooks in 7 languages about how to grow food safely in Buffalo, including information about our community garden network and raised bed gardening. This was updated to 10 different languages commonly spoken in the WNY region in 2023! Click the icon(s) below to download the guidebook in the language you are looking for: 



Arabic jpg.jpg


Karen jpg.jpg


Bengali jpg.jpg


Nepali jpg.jpg


Burmese jpg.jpg


Somali jpg.jpg


English jpg.jpg


Spanish jpg.jpg


Farsi jpg.jpg


Swahili jpg.jpg

These new guidebooks were made possible through a federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant received in partnership with the University at Buffalo Center for Global Health Equity, the City of Buffalo, the WNY Children's Environmental Health Center, and Urban Roots. The primary project of the grant is to explore the use of mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms, to quickly clean lead and other heavy metals from ground soil. This ground-breaking research could have global health implications. Watch this interview with Spectrum News to learn more from the scientists at the University of Buffalo and GGWNY staff about the project!

Please do not hesitate to contact our office at 716-783-9653 if you have any questions about this research, or would like to get more information about our workshops and guidebooks. Together, we grow SAFE and healthy communities.

bottom of page