The Soil pH Levels at Hoyt Park and Creekwood Park

 

Kristina Sofic

 

 

Abstract

 

            At Hoyt Park and from Creekwood park  total of twenty four samples were acquired in order to determine the soil pH values.  The first twelve samples were obtained from Hoyt Park in Milwaukee, WI.  The remaining twelve samples were obtained from Creekwood Park in Greenfield, WI.  It was hypothesized that the areas at Hoyt Park would have a lower pH soil value due to the excessive amount of flooding that has occurred along the Menomonee River over the years because of the rain while the regions at the Creekwood Park would have a greater pH soil value. The results indicate that there was no statistical difference in pH between Hoyt Park having a more acidic soil and Creekwood Park (p= 0.42).

 

Keywords: pH level, acidity, Hoyt Park, Creekwood Park

 

Introduction

The soil pH is a type of measurement that concludes how acidic or basic a type of soil is.  The pH scale normally ranges from zero to fourteen.  The values between zero and 6.9 are regarded as acidic, seven is considered neutral and the pH values between 7.1 to fourteen are basic (Bickellhaupt, 2002).  The soil pH is one of the most important property of soil because it is one of the most essential natural assets to support the growth and photosynthesis of plants.  Also, the soil pH is vital because soil contain nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen in order to grow (Boul, 1986).

            The objective of the experiment was to determine whether the soil is more acidic at Hoyt Park and more basic at Creekwood Park.  It was hypothesized that the areas at Hoyt Park would have a more acidic soil type due to the excessive amount of flooding that has occurred along the Menomonee River over the years because of the rain, while, the regions at the Creekwood Park would have a basic pH soil level.  The excessive flooding would influence the soil pH because the tremendous amount of rain probably traveled through the soil seeping out calcium and magnesium from the soil and exchanging it with aluminum and iron which are acids (Kaiser, 1996).

 

Materials and Methods

On October 20th, 2007 at 12:30 p.m. a total of 12 soil samples were gathered from Hoyt Park 1800 N. Swan Blvd. in Milwaukee, WI (Fig. 1) and analyzed for a pH value.  On October 26th, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. the remaining 12 soil samples were collected from Creekwood Park South 43rd St. in Greenfield, WI (Fig. 2). The first twelve zip lock bags were labeled “Hoyt Park” and Area 1 through 12.  The remaining twelve samples were labeled “Creekwood Park” and Area 1 through 12 as well.  The temperature was sunny and about 15 degrees C on October 20th, it was cloudy, windy and about 7 degrees C on October 26th.   An A 1000 Suunto compass was used to measure the direction where the samples from Hoyt Park and Crestwood Park were obtained  and a Keson 50 Meter measuring tape was used to determine the distance. 

The samples that were collected from Hoyt Park and from the Creekwood Park were measured exactly 10 meters from the starting area. The starting point of the first area at Hoyt Park and at Creekwood Park was selected by throwing a blue plastic plate that had an arrow drawn on one side that was created by the instructor. The starting point, Area 1 at Hoyt Park, the sample gathered was 10 degrees North (Table. 1).  The starting point, Area 1 at Creekwood Park, the sample gathered was 107 degrees South East (Table. 2).

 

Each soil sample was collected using a soil scooper to dig about two centimeters into the ground while wearing Latex gloves.  The samples that were gathered from the specific spot were placed inside each individual labeled plastic zip lock bags.  All of the twenty four soil samples that were collected were tested for their pH values using the LaMotte soil test kit.  The model was EM 5934. 

The test tubes were provided in the LaMotte soil test kit.  All the samples were filled to the fourth marked line with a pH solution indicator.  A total of three scoops of soils were placed inside the test tube using a 0.5g spoon.  Each individual test tube was capped and then shaken for one minute.  The samples were then set down on a test tube wrack, and after ten minutes, using the pH chart that was also inside the soil test kit and the color of the test tubes were matched to a LaMotte pH range color chart, code 1352.  The data was analyzed using the Microsoft Excel Program, (ed. 2003) a two tail independent t-test.

              

Table. 1  Direction and Distance of Soil Samples from Hoyt Park

 

 Area                      Degrees                                            Distance (m)

1

10 degrees North - starting point

10 meters - starting point

2

190 degrees North from

Area 1

10 meters from Area 1

3

200 degrees North from

Area 2

10 meters from Area 2

4

160 degrees North East

from Area 3

10 meters from Area 3

 

5

157 degrees North East

from Area 4

10 meters from Area 4

6

203 degrees North West

 from Area 5

10 meters from Area 5

7

65 degrees North

from Area 6

10 meters from Area 6

8

117 degrees North

 from Area 7

10 meters from Area 7

9

102 degrees North East

 from Area 8

10 meters from Area 8

10

170 degrees North

from Area 9

10 meters from Area 9

11

110 degrees North

from Area 10

10 meters from Area 10

12

210 degrees North

from Area 11

10 meters from Area 11

 

 

 

 

Figure 1.  Hoyt Park (Retrieved from www.tosatonight.com/img/hoyt_park.gif)

 

 

 

Table. 2 Direction and Distance of Soil Samples from Creekwood Park

 

 

Area                     Direction                                        Distance (m)

1

180 degrees South- starting point

10 meters - starting point

2

121 degrees South East

 from Area 1

10 meters from Area 1

3

65 degrees South East

from Area 2

10 meters from Area 2

4

118 degrees South East

from Area 3

10 meters from Area 3

5

277 degrees South West

 from Area 4

10 meters from Area 4

6

200 degrees South

from Area 5

10 meters from Area 5

7

102 degrees South East

from Area 6

10 meters from Area 6

8

139 degrees South East

from Area 7

10 meters from Area 7

9

220 degrees South

from Area 8

10 meters from Area 8

10

315 degrees South East

from Area 9

10 meters from Area 9

11

223 degrees South

from Area 10

10 meters from Area 10

12

139 degrees South West

from Area 11

10 meters from Area 11

 

 

 

 

Figure 2. Creekwood Park (Retrieved from www.maps.google.com)

 

 

 Results

There was not a significant difference between the soil pH levels at Hoyt Park and at the pH soil levels from Creekwood Park (Fig. 3).  An independent t-test was done and a p-value of 0.42 was acquired.  The mean of the soil pH of the samples from Hoyt Park was 7.83. The soil pH of the samples from Creekwood Park had a mean of 7.75.  The standard deviation of the samples obtained from Hoyt Park was 1.19.  The standard deviation from the Creekwood  Park was 0.62.

         
Figure.
3. Soil pH from Hoyt and Creekwood Park.

 

 

 

Discussion

 

In this experiment the data clearly indicated that there was not a difference in the pH levels between the areas at Hoyt Park and the regions at the Creekwood Park.  The conclusion did not support the hypothesis that the areas at Hoyt Park would have a acidic soil type due to the excessive amount of flooding that has occurred along the Menomonee River over the years because of the rain, while, the regions at the Creekwood Park would have a basic pH soil level. Both of the areas appeared to have a basic soil type. Over the years many water floods have occurred along the Menomonee River and around the areas at Hoyt Park (Debruin, 2007).  The primary factor that contributed to the flooding was the rainfall.Both natural sources and development of fossil fuel and industrial processes release sulfur and nitrogen oxides which react in the atmosphere and produce fine sulfate and nitrate particles which become sulfate and nitrate acids that is carried by the rain. (Peterson, 1982).  Typically, under certain conditions for example excessive flooding or tremendous amount of rainfall the soil pH level would decrease (Swarup, 1980).
           
            A possible explanation as to why the soil samples that were obtained from the Hoyt Park were basic was probably because of the low availability of nutrients such as phosphates. Also, the lack of organic matter may have influenced the acidity of the soil because the organic matter decay typically produces hydrogen ions which would be accountable for the acidity of the soil (Wilde, 1954).  Therefore, the lack of the hydrogen ions was not able to produce acidity.
 
            The changes that I would make if I were to repeat the experiment again are, I would pick a different variable to measure.  For example, I would measure the soil nutrients at different sites and determine which site had the most amount of nutrients. Another change that I would make is I would consider and find out what type of soil is at the two sites, for example, whether it was a clay soil or a silt soil.
 

 

Literature Cited

 

Bickelhaupt, D (2002).  Soil pH: What it Means, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Industrial Support Specialist, Forest and Natural Resources Managements.  Retrieved on October 28, 2007 from http://www.esf.edu/pubprog/brochure/soilpH.htm

 

 

Boul, W.S.  (1995).  Sustainability of  Soil Use.  Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. Vol. 26: pp. 25-44.  Retrieved on October 21, 2007 from JSTOR database.

 
Creekwood Park Map (2007).  Retrieved on October 28, 2007 from www.maps.google.com

 

Debruin, I.  (2007, April). 100 Year Plan Engineers Work to Stem Flooding Woes In SE Wisconsin. Pp. 1-3.  Retrieved on October 1, 2007 from

            http:// outpostnaturalfloods.ccop/exhchange/features/0407floodcontrol.pdf

 

 

Hoyt Park Map.  (2007).  Retrieved on October 28, 2007 from www.tosatonight.com/img/hoyt_park.gif

 

Kaiser, L.  (1996, April).  Acid Rain’s Dirty Business: Stealing Minerals from Soil  Science.  Vol. 272, No. 5259: pp. 198.  Retrieved on November 29, 2007 from  JSTOR database.

 

Peterson, I. (1982, August). To Catch a Cloud.  Science News.  Vol. 122, No.9: pp. 138-   140. Retrieved on November 23, 2007 from JSTOR database.

 

Swarup, A. (1980, November).  Effect of flooding on physico-chemical changes in sodic  soils. Zeitschrift für Pflanzenernährung und Bodenkunde.  Vol. 144; 2: pp.136   142 Retrieved on November 25, 2007 from  http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/114062741/ABSTRACT

 

Wilde, A.S.  (1954, January).  Reaction of Soils: Facts and Fallacies.  Ecology.  Vol.  3,     No.1: pp.89-92.  Retrieved on November 25, 2007 from JSTOR database.