596 Acres was one of the founding members of the Legacy Lead Consortium for NYC! 

Lead is concentrated in urban environments, a legacy of human practices that traditionally used this element in paint, gasoline, insulation, and numerous other products. Contamination of our cities’ soils continues today via resuspension of contaminated dust, industrial pollution, and vehicular traffic. Many of the most threatened communities are already engaged in the struggle for environmental justice. A consortium of city employees, scientists, advocates, and greening organizations are collaborating to assist fellow New Yorkers in reducing the potential harm we face from lead.

The Legacy Lead Consortium includes scientists, City Agency employees, greening organizations and gardeners who meet regularly and discuss research, legislation and distribution of materials to support best practices online. You can read past posts in its google group or send a message to to introduce yourself and request to join.

One intervention that the Consortium did together was design and distribute signs to remind New Yorkers that we are all remediators of a legacy of lead in the built environment, and of best practices. Here’s what they say:



  • Wash your hands after gardening and playing
  • Wash your harvest and peel root vegetables
  • Leave dirty things outside (shoes, gardening tools, sports gear, toys, bikes)
  • Mulch garden paths
  • Grow only in soil you know is safe
  • Water and keep your plants healthy
  • Learn more about your soil and compost by getting it tested

Thank you for remediating our city!

Graphic design by Madeline Lindley, signs printed by SmartSign. Feel free to copy, with credit.


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About the Author : Mara Kravitz

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