The $7 million investment will expand the BP’s ‘Growing Brooklyn’s Future’ initiative to seven new schools in Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bergen Beach, Gravesend and Sheepshead Bay
On Tuesday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams joined by Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo announced the installation of a state-of-the-art school greenhouse at P.S.56 Lewis H. Latimer and the Urban Assembly Unison School in Clinton Hill, reports Kings County Politics. The greenhouse is part of the borough president’s $7 million capital budget investment toward his “Growing Brooklyn’s Future” initiative. Funded through a partnership between Adams’s and Cumbo’s offices, it will have a growing capacity of 25,000 pounds of produce annually.
“In order to change the health outcomes our young people are facing, and that we don’t make the same mistakes of the past, we must unlearn what we learned,” said Adams. “This starts with our youngest Brooklynites, the future of this borough.”
When Adams announced the “Growing Brooklyn’s Future” initiative in 2015, a program to bring hydroponic classrooms to a dozen schools across Brooklyn, he highlighted the potential of urban farming to revolutionize the borough’s relationship with food and the environment, as well as to create thousands of jobs in the emerging agritech industry. On Tuesday, the borough president expressed his hopes that the new greenhouse at the Clinton Hill schools will not only positively impact the eating habits of the students, their families and friends, but will also bring healthy food options to the neighborhood.
“It is an injustice when our children are eating food that is not going to contribute to them understanding the difficult and complex environments they are a part of,” said Adams. “There is no reason that in affluent communities you have Whole Foods, and in other communities you have junk food.”
The $7 million investment will expand the program to seven new schools in Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bergen Beach, Gravesend and Sheepshead Bay, allowing them to build greenhouses and rooftop gardens. The schools are joining P.S. 21 Crispus Attucks in Bedford-Stuyvesant; Brooklyn Democracy Academy in Brownsville; and I.S. Margaret S. Douglas in East New York, among others, which kicked off the initiative in 2016.