International Year of Soils: June 2015

Jun 01, 2015

Soils support recreation

By Diego Flammini,

Under the guidance of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2015 is being observed as the International Year of Soils.

All through 2015, the United Nations along with organizations including World Rural Forum, International Union of Soil Sciences and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) will make people aware of the important roles soil plays in everyday life that sometimes goes under-appreciated and overlooked.

To promote exactly the many ways soil impacts society, the SSSA produces a short video each month with a specific theme aimed at highlighting the month’s theme and detailing how soil plays a part in it.

The theme for June is “soils support recreation”.

As he’s done in the previous five months, Jim Toomey of the SSSA appears in a short video describing how soil helps people get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer.

Hands holding soil

“It’s important for you to stay on marked trails when you’re hiking in a forest,” Toomey said. “The plants and animals that live in forests are supported by the soils on the forest floor.”

Stepping on and compacting the soil can make it hard for plants and trees to receive their nutrients from water that soil holds for them after a rainfall.

Been on a sandy beach lately?

“When you’re making footprints or sandcastle on a beach, you’re playing with soil, too,” Toomey explained.

Remember that soccer field you played on earlier?

“Under all that turf grass on your soccer field is a layer of soil to keep your game going. The soil provides nutrients for the turf grass,” said Toomey.

Be sure to go back and check out the other themes for the International Year of Soils:

January – Soils Sustain Life
February – Soils Support Urban Life
March – Soils Support Agriculture
April – Soils Clean and Capture Water
May – Soils Support Buildings and Infrastructure

Be sure to check back in July when the theme is “Soils are Living.”

Tell us your thoughts about the ongoing International Year of Soils. What have you learned about soil that you didn’t know before?

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