Harlem Children’s Zone School-New Aquaponic System




Malnutrition is a global problem, it is not limited to countries in the developing world. According to National Geographic (August, 2014), 48 million Americans were food insecure in 2012, a fivefold increase since the 1960s. In both urban and rural areas, food insecurity has major implications on the overall health of communities and in particular, women and children.

Project Description

In April 2014 we were asked to provide a working model of a small-scale food production system at the Harlem Children’s Zone School in Harlem, NY. The system was designed and built to provide students with a fully operational fish and plant production system that would serve as a teaching tool to demonstrate how healthy foods can be produced in urban areas using minimal space.  Students gain “hands-on” experience learning the basics of wastewater treatment, nitrogen cycling, simple agricultural techniques, and fish production.
Plant specialists from the Kohlberg Foundations’ Cabbage Hill Farm in Mount Kisco, NY provided equipment, seedlings and expertise for the vegetable component of the system and worked closely with the MBL’s Sustainable Aquaculture Initiative to ensure compatibility between the plant and fish components of the system.

As of July 2014 students are producing and harvesting tilapia, various varieties of leafy vegetables, and herbs.

Get Involved-

We are currently developing age appropriate education materials to accompany the aquaponics learning module. Help further our efforts by donating here.