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Published on Apr 15, 2010
Sixteen-year old Janice Serrano grew up in the Main South neighborhood in Worcester, MA. There is an almost invisible danger that strikes Janice close to home: tests find that the very yard where she has lived and played in since she was a child is contaminated with dangerous levels of lead from chipping paint. Janice knows that she was just one of many children put at risk of brain damage, learning disabilities, stunted growth, and reproductive problems caused by lead poisoning. Janice and a group of youth who are forming a business that runs cooperatively with no bosses the Toxic Soil Busters Co-op decide to take matters into their own hands. Their challenge: to make Janice's yard safe; their best weapons: plants that pull up lead as they grow and hand-powered landscaping techniques.