Emerson Street Garden

Emerson Garden is a narrow city lot located in Portland on NE Emerson Street. Once the site of a residence, the house burned in a fire and the soil became lead contaminated as a result. Multnomah County donated this site to OSALT in 2008 to restore the site and turn it into a community asset.

Upon receiving the property, one of OSALT’s initial goals was to remedy the lead soil contamination. At first, metal absorbing plants were grown in the soil in an effort to draw out this contamination, to limited success.

It was then determined that the safest way to be able to grow food here for consumption was to mechanically remove the contaminated soil and replace it with a soil compost blend. This effort was completed in 2012 through the organization Groundworks.

The site has since served as a garden for the community ever since, made accessible to neighbors for gardening and related events and celebrations.