© Santropol Roulant

Soils support terrestrial life and allow for the production of our food. They are home to an abundance of micro-organisms, fungi and invertebrates, as well as the root systems of most terrestrial plants, including those of trees, fruits, herbs and vegetables. However, Montreal soils are threatened by a wide range of contaminants, mainly from industrial sources. In fact, there are more than 1,600 contaminated sites in the Montreal area (MDDEFP, 2013) and the area of contaminated tracts of wasteland on the island of Montreal is estimated at 135 square kilometres, a surface representing almost one third of the island (Projet Montréal, 2014). Fortunately, biodiversity can contribute to improving soil health. For example, plants, together with soil micro-organisms, can decontaminate the soil by absorbing contaminants and containing them in their tissues (phytoremediation). There are many projects that emphasize soils and their health in Montreal. Discover some of the most inspiring ones.