The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday initiated the development of the city’s Healthy Soil Strategy as part of the L.A. Green New Deal.

Calling it a “powerful, multi-beneficial opportunity” to reduce the city’s environmental footprint, Councilmen Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin introduced the motion to have the city’s Department of Sanitation and Environment develop a healthy soil strategy to support urban agriculture, address carbon sequestration and increase water capture. The strategy would use input from local universities, nonprofits and relevant government agencies.

The council approved the motion on a 14-0 vote, with one member absent.

According to the National Resource Conservation Service, soil health depends on the soil’s capacity “to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals and humans.”

L.A.’s Green New Deal agenda in 2019 set goals to have LASAN develop a healthy soil strategy, explore incentives for regenerative agricultural practices, including water conservation, pilot healthy soil projects and amplify community education campaigns to educate the public on the benefits of healthy soils, biodiversity and regenerative agriculture.

According to LASAN’s website, the strategy will help the city “go beyond what is outlined in the Green New Deal and help formalize practices, foster collaborations, and prioritize projects that promote composting and regenerative agriculture.”

Along with directing LASAN to develop the city’s healthy soil strategy, the motion approved by the council directs LASAN to:

— work with the Department of Transportation, StreetsLA and the Department of Recreation and Parks to draft a report on opportunities for unpaving underutilized spaces and using them for composting/mulching operations and to create healthy soil;

— work with the Department of Recreation and Parks, StreetsLA, the Library Department and other city departments to draft a report on opportunities for compost operations on public lands as well as ways to reduce chemical and water use in parks through compost and mulch use and more;

— draft reports on public and private funding sources to help the city expand its healthy soil efforts; on “green” employment opportunities that will support healthy soil and compost projects; and on opportunities for public awareness campaigns to educate people on the importance of healthy soil; and

— directs the Los Angeles Fire Department to draft a report on best practices to protect soil health while clearing brush to prevent fires.

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