In the early 1890’s during the depression, land was donated for gardening by the unemployed. By the early 1920’s, civic beautification campaigns in many parts of the country included gardens on vacant lots and at school sites. War gardens became popular first as the US School Garden Army during WWI (1917-1919) and as Victory Gardens during WWII (1941–1945). The popularity of urban gardens have subsided and reoccurred many times since the 50’s and are popular once more. Presently, school and community gardens are used as resources to inform students and the general population about nutritious food choices and for providing fresh produce for home use and food banks. Students in the UC Davis chapters of a national organization are involved in development of community gardens for the homeless in Sacramento, CA. Understanding that lead content may be a major concern in potential gardens sites that once had homes built during an earlier era, the first concern for members of the organization was to analyze the soil for specific metal contaminants, especially lead.