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Georgia students' school garden on hold due to runoff risk

Thankfully, more and more people are growing up to understand the importance and value of nature. The lessons of environmental appreciation are starting at a young age. A group of students at a Georgia elementary school, for example, have taken pride in beginning their own garden.

The garden fun, however, has been interrupted by a contamination problem. When environment and business combine, problems can arise involving land use and pollution. A poultry business near the students' school and garden threatens the health of the land and those who inhabit it.

Parents of the kids who are responsible for the garden regret that their efforts to come up with the money and to plant the garden have gone un-enjoyed due to the environmental problem. Georgia's Environmental Protection Division has cited a local poultry processor for violating disposal and run-off rules. The health risks have required the closing of the garden and the school land around it.

Improper run-off setups can mean that toxic chemicals can get into the water and land. Being that the problem company in this Georgia situation is a poultry plant, the toxic danger at-hand is animal bacteria that comes from blood, feces, etc. Those aren't the kind of substances that help a healthy garden grow. In fact, if the contaminants went unnoticed, they could have made kids and others in the area sick.

The company has reportedly come up with a plan to install and utilize a safe stormwater runoff system that will allow its business to continue but also the kids to enjoy their garden as planned. To ensure that the change does keep the land safe, tests will be required on the school grounds to check for toxins on a regular basis.

It looks like the young students will have learned a lot more than just how to plant a garden. The project has shown them how people most definitely make an impact on the earth and the health of others, and that impact can be either toxic or positive.


Source: Dawson Advertiser, "School property contaminated by run-off," Kimberly Boim, Oct. 9, 2013

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