Yonkers Mayor Spano to kick-off 2019 Season Opening of the only floating, completely “off-the-grid” hydroponic greenhouse and interactive museum in Westchester County on May 11th.
On May 11th, Groundwork Hudson Valley’s Science Barge will open with a larger-than-life celebration to commemorate the eleventh anniversary of the Science Barge calling the Yonkers waterfront home, as well as the almost $1 million enhancements completed over the past two years that the Barge enjoys today.
The Science Barge is one-of-a-kind. Floating in the beautiful Hudson River, the Science barge is an environmental education center that runs on energy generated by solar panels, wind turbines, and biofuels, and is irrigated solely by collected rainwater and purified river water – thus operating completely “off-the-grid”. The Science Barge produces an abundance of fresh produce, including tomatoes, melons, popcorn, peppers, eggplant, and lettuce with zero net carbon emissions, zero pesticides, and zero runoff.
The Science Barge provides unique, hands-on educational programs for Yonkers public school students as well as Westchester children and families. Groundwork Hudson Valley educators teach children and families about renewable energy systems, hydroponic farming, and the effects of climate change.
Educational tours will be offered to the public at the 2019 Science Barge Grand Opening every 30 minutes, from 12:00pm to 4:00pm. Visitors will interact with exhibits aboard the Barge – part of a cutting-edge education initiative from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in partnership with Columbia University and the Center for the Urban River at Beczak (CURB).
Over the past two years, year, the Science Barge has undergone extensive renovations and enhancements totaling almost $1 million in investments from the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New NY Bridge Project, NOAA, Sound Associates, Jerry Blackstone and Con Edison. In addition to maintenance renovations such as new reinforced steel on the underside of the Barge, the Barge also now touts a sustainable toilet, an aeroponic growing system, and a new gangway.
“DEC is proud to support the Science Barge as part of Governor Cuomo’s environmental justice platform and historic investments in the Environmental Protection Fund,” said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. “The enhanced and expanded Science Barge will provide new educational opportunities focusing on urban environmental challenges and is a tremendous learning resource for the Yonkers community.”
The 2019 Science Barge Grand Opening festivities will have something for everyone: sway to live music from The Greenheart band while enjoying delicious bites from a variety of food trucks featuring coal fired pizza and ice cream as well as brownies from La Piñata Bakery; play with Big Foot, the tortoise, and other live animals from the Greenburgh Nature Center; upgrade your look with face painting artists; learn about and play with beneficial bugs; or bring home a plant or craft that you planted or created.
The Grand Opening will kick-off at 12:00pm, with a ribbon cutting at 12:30PM by City of Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano in special recognition of those who have made a major contribution to the innovative educational programming and energy systems on the Science Barge, and will honor the retirement of Captain Bob Walters for his many accomplishments as the Director of the Science Barge.
Each season, the Science Barge educates and delights residents near and far on the importance of our environment and how we can do our part to keep it sustainable,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “Thank you to Groundwork Hudson Valley for their continued investment in Yonkers and to our community. We wish them continued success.”
The Science Barge is open to the public on weekends from noon to 6 pm, from mid-April to November, offering children’s activities and tours of the energy and growing systems. Art & Science Sundays for children offers planting and science activities, crafts, crabbing, and more that will start in July.
The Science Barge is located at 99 Dock Street, Yonkers, NY 10701. For more information, call 914-375-2151 or visit groundworkhv.org.