Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams on Sunday unveiled “Growing Brooklyn’s Future,” an initiative with over $2 million in initial investment from his Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) to create hydroponic classrooms to a dozen schools across Brooklyn.
Adams made the announcement in a classroom at the Academy of Urban Planning, a high school located in Bushwick, which will be transformed into a green learning space through a partnership with New York Sun Works, a non-profit organization that builds innovative science labs in urban schools.
The Brooklyn borough president highlighted the potential of urban farming to revolutionize the borough’s relationship with food and the environment, as well as to create thousands of jobs in the emerging agri-tech industry.
“Brooklyn is getting back to its roots as we move into a greener future, growing healthy food and talented students in the same classroom,” he said. “I am particularly excited that we are launching ‘Growing Brooklyn’s Future’ in communities like Brownsville, Bushwick and East New York, areas where our children have historically been left behind.”
In the spirit of “One Brooklyn,” Adams said he is planting “seeds of opportunity” in every neighborhood, adding that innovation and progress will “flower across our borough from stems of success that are grounded in STEM education.”
Schools receiving $167,000 each from Adams to build out hydroponic classrooms include: PS 21 Crispus Attucks in Bedford-Stuyvesant; Brooklyn Democracy Academy in Brownsville; Academy for Environmental Leadership, Academy of Urban Planning, IS 383 Philippa Schuyler, and PS 377 Alejandina B. De Gautier in Bushwick.
Others are: High School for Medical Professions, IS 211 John Wilson, and PS 279 Herman Schreiber in Canarsie; Brooklyn Lab School and Multicultural High School in Cypress Hills; and IS 292 Margaret S. Douglas in East New York.
“Public-private partnerships like these help us revitalize science and sustainability programming in New York City public schools,” said Sidsel Robards, director of development and events for New York Sun Works. “We are honored to be working with Brooklyn Borough Hall on this mission.”
“Chair Julie Dent and I were ecstatic to learn of the FY16 capital budget allocation that Borough President Adams allocated to four schools in Community District 4,” said Nadine Whitted, district manager of Community Board 4.
“Through this generous allocation, our youngsters will have an opportunity to learn first-hand about greenhouse technology and other science concepts which will propel them into the 21st century, thus equipping them with the required tools to become more competitive in the worlds of technology, science, and sustainability,” she added. “I thank him for his promise to educate and equip our students for a brighter future.”
Andrew Brown, principal of the Brooklyn Democracy Academy, said: “We have had a successful hydroponics program running for eight years and are elated to expand with the generosity of Borough President Adams.
“Our expansion will include aquaponics, which is a game changer for our students and community,” he added. “This truly has far reaching potential for our students and their families.”