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Community-Based Hydroponics: a NYPA, UPROSE, and NY Sun Works Initiative

September 9, 2021

On August 13th, NY Sun Works was joined by UPROSE and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to celebrate the launch of our first-ever community-based hydroponics lab, in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. UPROSE is an intergenerational, multi-racial, nationally-recognized, women of color led, grassroots organization that promotes sustainability and resiliency through community organizing, education, leadership development and cultural/artistic expression in Brooklyn. Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of UPROSE, has an energy and passion that is palpable, and her words resonated with everyone attending the ribbon cutting ceremony that evening: 

“We know climate change is going to disrupt food systems and supply chains. Partnerships like this are central to building the local knowledge necessary to address a common threat. This partnership provides a hands-on opportunity for our community, especially our young people, to learn to grow food locally.” 

The lab is funded by NYPA, whose support has been instrumental throughout the four years of  partnership with NY Sun Works. 

“The New York Power Authority is pleased to spearhead and fully support this unique learning environment that offers community members the opportunity to engage in sustainability and nutrition activities by growing food locally,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA President and CEO.   

More than 50 community members, activists and government officials gathered at UPROSE in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Attendees enjoyed local, culturally relevant food, music by Bomba Yo, dancing, harvesting activities, and of course, the official cutting of the ribbon! 

The launch of the lab comes on the heels of a recently released assessment report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which warns that strong and immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are needed to limit the average global warming increase to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius (about 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) in the next decades. Yeampierre said that climate change will disrupt food systems and the UPROSE lab represents an opportunity for communities to learn and embrace innovative and alternative systems.


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