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Plant Month and Aquaponics at the Environmental Education Center

Warmer days and budding plants in Brooklyn Bridge Park are sure signs that spring is almost here! To celebrate, it’s Plant Theme at Conservancy Open Hours at the Ed Center.

Stop by for fun activities and new games exploring the diverse species of trees, plants, and shrubs that grow in Brooklyn Bridge Park. From seed sorts to leaf identification, you will become an amateur botanist in no time.

Visitors who want an early taste of spring can come and discover our brand new Aquaponics System. A type of sustainable indoor farming, we’re growing kale, carrots, ferns, and flowers, while feeding our fish at the same time!

Plants growing under a light.Close up of kale grown indoors at the Ed Center

Plant growing in a terrarium.Fern growing at the Ed Center

Aquaponics is a sustainable method of raising fish and vegetables in one integrated system using hydroponics (the growing of plants in water) and aquaculture (raising fish). Fish are raised in the tank below, providing natural fertilizer and nutrient-rich water for the plants that grow on top.

Typical aquariums require a filtration system to keep tanks clean. In aquaponic systems, the water is purified by plants circulating water through their roots. Think of it as a compost system, but in water.

So why are we growing so many edible plants? No, it is not lunch for the education staff, it’s to help feed our animals! Many of the terrestrial creatures at the Ed Center, including our box-turtle and millipedes, love vegetables and leafy greens. By using less water and energy, growing our own food is one way we’re making our Environmental Education Center more sustainable.

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