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Toxic Air in Urban Veggie Gardens

Science Pub RVA

Many city dwellers take nutrition matters into their own hands through Urban gardening. But is urban air good for our garden veggies? We all know that water, air and soil are key foundations of plant life. But, what happens when metals in the form of gases and particulate matters are added ingredients? Ahkinyala Cobb-Abdullah, PhD will  explore that topic with you over a sip of some sort at the next Science Pub RVA -Toxic Air in Urban Veggie Gardens. How is this subject studied and what does the research tell us?

Duron Chavis will speak about Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s collaborative  Greenhouse work at VUU, the impacts of increasing access to quality seedlings, and the benefits of public greenspace.


Ahkinyala Cobb-Abdullah, PhD is an Associate Professor of Ecology and Environmental Science at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia. She serves as the Director of the newly-established Center for Increasing STEM Diversity at Virginia Union University, in part because of her commitment to increase STEM exposure for students in underserved communities. Recent community outreach projects have included conducting STEAM workshops, participating in a garden warriors program at Virginia State University, and sharing hands-on activities at Science Matters’ Explore The Outdoors festival. Dr. Cobb-Abdullah is also a research mentor for Virginia Union University's Summer Research program, where she oversees undergraduate research on the impact that metals in air pollution have on the quality of urban agricultural products.


Duron Chavis is the Manager of Community Engagement at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Duron has devoted his career to iterating sustainable solutions to racial inequity in the city of Richmond. He is an advocate for urban greening as a multi-faceted tool for community empowerment. He is an alumnus of Leadership Metro Richmond, Style Weekly’s Top 40 under 40, and was named Richmond’s Person of the Year in 2017. Chavis founded the highly acclaimed Happily Natural Day festival, a weekend-long experience that focuses on cultural awareness, health, wellness and social change.


What to Expect

Two talks and lots of Q&A • A mix of table-side and theatre-style seating • Room for 150 curious minds 21 and up.

Where and When

Tuesday, March 5 • Doors to event space open at 5:30 p.m. (brewery opens at 4:00 p.m.) • Program begins at 6:30 p.m. and will conclude at 8:00 p.m.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery • 2410 Ownby Lane • Public transit and carpooling are always good ideas: Plan a GRTC bus trip. Street parking throughout the neighborhood and some spots in the venue’s lot on the corner of Ownby and Overbrook.


No registration needed • Limited seating available on a first-come basis • Attend for free or donate what you can ($7 suggested) • If you’re on Facebook, indicate that you’re going HERE and share the news with friends.

What is Science Pub RVA?

Science Pub RVA is a program of the Community Idea Stations’ award-winning Science Matters initiative. 

If you’re not already subscribed, Sign Up Here to receive email announcements and reminders of Science Pub RVA programs.

Science Pub program are made possible with support of members like you. Begin or renew your membership today or contact Cynthia Gibbs about Science Pub sponsorship opportunities beginning at $500.

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