Around two years ago (December 15th to be exact), I became the first paid employee of BrightFarm Systems (the New York Sun Works crew joined 16 days later). Our only project at the time was a rooftop environmental science lab– the Science Barge was ‘moving’ to a rooftop.
Yesterday, it was with incredible pride that I joined New York Sun Works, The Manhattan School For Children, the school community, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, NYC Council Member Gale Brewer, and NYC Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, for the official launch of the Sun Works Center For Environmental Studies at the Manhattan School For Children. This project represents the tireless work of two remarkable parents, Manuela Zamora and Sidsel Robards, with support from Nancy Easton and Rebecca Edwardson.
Although the sound isn’t wonderful (if anyone knows how to get rid of the background noise- I would love your help), I got to spend a couple of minutes speaking with Manuela and Sidsel about what a 21st century education looks like to them and why they believe this greenhouse is important.
The Sun Works Center at the Manhattan School For Children is NYC’s first rooftop greenhouse science laboratory. The science laboratory will provide students with hands-on, innovative science education that uses sustainable urban food production as a lens for learning about urban agriculture, sustainability, energy efficiency, nutrition, water resource management, efficient land use, climate change, biodiversity, conservation, pollution, and waste management. Below are a couple of pictures I took of the hydroponic growing systems, aquaculture system, and smartboard system. There will be a lot more to come in the coming weeks!
Tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers will grow in this recirculating dutch bucket system.
This aquaponic system utilizes tilapia waste as one source of fertilizer for plants.
Greenhouse teacher Shakira Castronova shows off harvested greens.
** Please note, the reference to two years reflects my time engaged with the project. New York Sun Works, Kiss+Cathcart, Manuela Zamora, Sidsel Robards, & Nancy Easton began working on this project three years ago.