Can plants remediate soil contamination? Can a rain garden prevent pollutants from entering the groundwater? Are poplar trees a viable strategy for removing industrial toxins from brownfield sites? Scientists, landscape architects, and environmentalists have explored these questions for years, with varying results. Phytotechnology, the ability of plants to remove, contain, or control contaminants in the environment, is gaining attention in the sustainability field as a low-impact approach to improving soil and water quality and protecting human health and the environment.
In this webinar, speakers from EPA Region 1 and Boston-based Offshoots, Inc. will explore New England case studies where plants were used to enhance or improve a sustainable cleanup process at brownfield sites, including factories, gas stations, and industrial areas. Kate Kennen, who has been conducting research in the field since 2006, will discuss the applicability of phytotechnology in her experience as a landscape architect. Jessica Dominguez and Juan Perez of EPA Region 1 will showcase regional examples where vegetation and tree plantings assisted in brownfields clean up to create cleaner and healthier landscapes, groundwater systems, and stormwater flows. The presentation will cover lessons learned from past projects and indications for future programs.