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Sudbury Soils Study
Posted August 16, 2004 9:35:25 AM


SUDBURY – The SARA Group undertaking the Sudbury Soils Study reported to the Technical Committee at their monthly meeting last week on the progress of their current field program. “The 2004 field and laboratory program will allow us to conduct tests using soils of different metal levels from sites within the City of Greater Sudbury”, said Christopher Wren, Director of the SARA Group. “We are collecting soil and taking it back to the laboratory to examine if Sudbury soils are impacting specific plant and animal species under very controlled conditions”.

The work also includes a detailed examination of vegetation communities in the Sudbury area, and furthers the pioneering work of Laurentian University and the City of Greater Sudbury to better understand the effects of metals on the Sudbury environment. The SARA Group is working closely with experts from the City of Greater Sudbury and faculty members at Laurentian University for the field program. Professors Peter Beckett and Graeme Spiers are providing technical advice, equipment, and summer students as part of the Sudbury Soils Study.

At July’s Technical Committee meeting, the SARA Group introduced three students from Whitefish Lake First Nation, who are acting as research technicians for a medicinal plant survey this summer. The study is focusing on examining metal levels in plants used in medicines, and is a joint initiative between Whitefish Lake First Nation, the SARA Group, and the First Nation and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada. “We are very excited about this project,” said Kathleen Naponse, Health Director for the First Nation, “Community members use traditional medicines, and we are interested in knowing if there is any potential risk. Our summer students are also very excited about participating in such a ground-breaking program.”

The next PAC meeting will be held Tuesday, September 21, 2004 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. Meeting location will be released closer to the meeting date. The next Technical Committee meetings will be held Thursday, September 9, and Thursday, October 7, with public sessions from 9:30 to 10:30 am, in Room C11 of Tom Davies Square. Members of the public who wish to make a presentation and would like consideration on the agenda of TC and PAC meetings are asked to contact John Hogenbirk, PAC Chair, at 705-675-1151, ext. 3435 or via e-mail at, or the SARA Group at 1-866-315-0228 or via e-mail at

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For more information, contact:

For more information please contact
SARA Group director, Chris Wren at
1-519-766-1039 or 1-866-315-0228.

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