NY Power Authority and HANAC Cornerstone Celebrate New Hydroponic Lab At Astoria Houses

Last week, youth from Astoria Houses in Queens joined with NY Sun Works, funding partner NY Power Authority, and HANAC Cornerstone, a NYC-based community services organization, to celebrate the official opening of the new hydroponic learning lab at NYCHA’s Astoria Houses. The community hydroponic lab — the first of its kind on a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) campus engages youth and community residents in urban farming, environmental justice and sustainability programming, while providing fresh, delicious produce for community residents to enjoy.

“The Astoria Houses garden is a learning lab that integrates science and sustainability into a fun program that everyone will enjoy,” said Lisa Payne Wansley, NYPA’s vice president of environmental justice. “Families will learn about cutting-edge technology through sustainable urban farming and be inspired to ask questions, investigate systems, and design solutions. Learning about STEM concepts will open up opportunities for young people and others who want to benefit from being part of New York State’s emerging clean energy economy.”

The lab is an exciting joint initiative between NY Sun Works, NYPA, and HANAC Cornerstone. NY Sun Works handled design and installation and will also provide ongoing maintenance, curriculum, and harvest support. NYPA will organize community education events while HANAC Cornerstone will manage day-to-day operations and programming. Programs will be available to both students and adults and eventually expanded to include intergenerational offerings.
NY1 News was on site for the event. You can check out the coverage and hear what young farmer-scientists have to say about growing watermelon anand other farming fun below.