The Exide plant in Vernon closed in 2015, but its environmental impact continues to be a big issue on the east side of LA. The clean-up is slow and ongoing, and it’s been getting some much-needed help. Prospering Backyards is a community-based organization that’s partnered with the Natural History Museum to study lead and other metals in soil surrounding the former Exide plant. It’s working to clean up the area while advocating for the government to do more.
Maru Garcia, a visual artist and project lead for Prospering Backyards says: “This is collaborative scientific research between community scientists, artists, activists, and scientists. We all want to develop an alternative method for reducing lead exposure. We are also considering the health of the soil and the environment as we are doing this, because we don't want to just develop a method that will solve something and then cause more problems.”