I started the Life Lab last spring and it is the site of our school’s B’ville mentorship. We are now in competition with two other NYC Parks projects for a $20K grant. Please help us out by going to:
and voting for our project. It take two minutes just follow the voting links, it will ask you to put in your information and then you will pick NY and the projects will come up. Vote for the the Life Lab! Below are project details:
Support the Life Lab!
The Living Laboratory Garden was founded in the spring of 2013. Our Goal is to create a safe natural space for hand on science investigations and to grow our own food to inspire healthier eating.
Brownsville has the highest concentration of public housing in the country. Many of our scholars do not have a safe area to play outside. There is an unfamiliarity with nature and little background knowledge to bring to the understanding science concepts. Our science team is writing curriculum that will utilize the garden for hands on science activities. Our enrichment program maintains the garden throughout the summer. Our clubs access the garden on a regular basis after school and on the weekends. We offer two electives, a leadership course, and a cooking class that integrate the garden into their curriculum. The garden hosts two bee hives in the garden that our scholars maintain. Scholars are creating a business around the products of the hive.
People living in Brownsville are more likely to have zero servings of fruits and vegetables per day then the rest of Brooklyn according to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygine. In cooking classes and clubs we have been introducing scholar to dishes that can be made with the garden harvest. We are working with The Garden to Cafe program to bring in chefs to incorporate the use of garden produce in dishes served in the cafeteria.
We Have Big Dreams!
We have worked with a landscape architect to turn our empty trash filled lot into a well designed functional space. To work in the garden we need a centralized meeting area and temporary seating for whole classes. Currently directions are given at the gate and students stand against the wall or mill about when not actively engaged in a task. The learning structure creates a space to sit, meet and work as groups.
The table and bench of this structure will house folding tables and chairs that will be pulled out when classes arrive at the garden, and stored when they leave. The structure will provide up us with shade on hot days and shelter from sudden rainstorms. The paving bricks mark an area for our outdoor classroom where benches and tables will sit.
Thats Right, We Are Off the Grid!
The structure will support solar panels and batteries that will provide all the power that will be needed in the garden. Science classes will study the benefits of solar and the structure will serve as a real life model of how a solar system can be designed and installed.