If you’ve been to New York City and seen greenhouses popping up in urban spaces — on roofs, in schools and even floating down the Hudson River, the credit goes to NY Sunworks and its Greenhouse Project, dedicated to improving environmental science in urban schools.
Through its state-of-the-art, hydroponic greenhouse science labs, NY Sunworks aims to provide tomorrow’s decision-makers with an elevated set of skills, a broader perspective and a lasting sense of commitment to lead the global community in an environmentally efficient way.
The Greenhouse Project aims to build 100 labs by 2020. With 15 greenhouse project labs built and 11 more in development, it’s on its way to reaching that goal. Projects include labs in a number of schools, as well as cooperation with the Grow A Lot project, a three year Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Commitment to Action to address the challenge of the urban food desert.
The objective of the Grow A Lot project is to bring value to communities by activating vacant urban land with hydroponic greenhouses to provide produce to neighborhoods with less access to fresh food.
The project will launch with a prototype for East New York (Brooklyn), which will act as a model for future projects across the U.S. and beyond. This first greenhouse takes advantage of lots slated for housing development that currently lay vacant because of the low unit yield on developing small sites and the high costs of brownfield clean-up. Cypress Hills Local Development Corp. will act as the steward and organizer for this landmark prototype, based on NY Sun Works’ Greenhouse Project initiative.
Designed to be assembled quickly, the greenhouses will provide an extended growing season for fresh, hydroponically grown, local produce. The Grow A Lot project will also bring educational programs to each greenhouse’s community.
Each project will incorporate NY Sun Works’ classroom layouts and grade school curriculum, “Discovering Sustainability Science,” allowing the greenhouses to provide hands-on, curated STEM learning experiences to nearby schools, as well as community members, who will receive on-site job training.