SUDBURY, April 30, 2003 – Researchers on the Sudbury Soils Study team are seeking local input through a series of “Have Your Say” workshops from May 13th to May 15th, 2003 in Copper Cliff, Falconbridge and Coniston. The workshops are part of the two-year long study that is evaluating the potential for human health and ecological effects of metals found in Sudbury area soils.
The Sudbury Soils Study builds on the tradition of Sudbury’s award-winning regreening program, as residents of Sudbury work together to improve their community and environment. “The people who attend the workshops will roll up their sleeves and work with us to identify and evaluate social, economic and natural features of the environment,” said Chris Wren, director of the SARA Group which is conducting the study. “These features might include key animal species, recreational areas, game, berries, and local foods. The workshops are a great opportunity to help focus the study on things people in Sudbury really want us to look at.”
“Although this is referred to as the Sudbury Soils Study, we are examining all aspects of the environment, including air and water. This means we need a whole range of people to come out to the workshops,” said Wren. “We’re hoping to meet with canoeists, hikers, hunters and trappers, anglers, gardeners, berry pickers, people who buy and sell local produce… anyone who can help us learn more about the lands, waters, and local food that people care about.”
People interested in attending the workshops can learn more about the study by visiting the website at www.sudburysoilsstudy.com, and reading the first edition of the Sudbury Soils Study newsletter will soon be delivered in local newspapers.
Workshop participants will also discuss favourite garden vegetables and local produce, ways that people preserve food, and the kinds of local berries people eat. This information will strengthen a vegetable garden survey that will start in late May and continue through August. Because vegetables and berries are in contact with soil, the researchers want to find out if metals make their way into local food and how people might process and consume that food. “We’ll soon be reaching out to people with gardens to ask them to take part in the vegetable garden survey,” said Natalie Feisthauer, a SARA Group researcher who is helping design the survey. “We hope the people who come out to the workshops will help us design a survey that makes sense for Sudbury, and point us to the gardeners who should take part in the survey.”
At a public open house scheduled for June 11, 2003 at Science North, workshop participants and other community members will be able to see how community input has helped researchers. The open house provides another opportunity to meet Sudbury Soils Study partners and researchers, and learn more about study goals and objectives.
The Sudbury Soils Study is a community-wide undertaking to accurately measure the levels of various metals in the local environment. It is the most comprehensive and scientifically demanding study of its kind ever done in Canada. Thousands of soil samples have been taken from throughout the region and are being carefully analysed to assess their contents. From these soil assessments, and other research, the community will learn of any risks these elements may pose to human health and/or the health of the environment. Final results are expected early in 2005. Partners in the study include Inco Limited, Falconbridge Limited, The Ontario Ministry of Environment, The City of Greater Sudbury, The Sudbury & District Health Unit, Health Canada – First Nation and Inuit Health Branch.
“Have Your Say” Workshop locations and dates:
Tuesday, May 13 - 6 PM to 9 PM
7 Craig Street
Wednesday, May 14 - 6 PM to 9 PM
Royal Canadian Legion Br 336, Falconbridge-Garson Branch
36 Edisson Street
Thursday, May 15 - 6 PM to 9 PM
47 Caruso Street