Wellington Aquaponics Project
Wellington Secondary School
October 24, 2012
More than 1,000
Overview:Help Wellington enlarge their vertical Aquaponics project. We hope to grow enough fresh produce in our courtyard to support our school lunch program. Wellington Secondary School has always been full of passionate citizens of the global community. Every year, the Student Council, environmental club, and other groups in the school devote time and energy towards projects that contribute supplies and finances to worthy causes. Wellington’s focus for many years has been humanitarian charities. This year we have expanded our focus so our initiatives address not only humanitarian concerns but also environmental issues. The environmental club initially worked to help keep a local stream healthy, removed invasive species from parks, and conducted fish surveys. Now the club is taking on its greatest project yet, the building of aquaponics system in the school’s inner courtyard. We hope to create a fully self-sustained system that promotes Aquaponics as a tool in Island food security. In order to do this we are asking for community involvement. Please go to Wellington Aquaponics @Facebook to see more information. The Aquaponics Project plans have been altered many times in order to construct the best possible blueprint for the project. What was originally going to be a 20ft wall covered in plants has morphed into a smaller plant-covered wall attached to a tank. Water will be pumped up the vertical plant-covered wall and flow down into a large tank containing fish. The fish produce ammonia, which bacteria convert into nitrate. When the water from the tank is pumped, the plants on the wall benefit from the nitrate in the water and filter the water before it goes back into the fish tank. This system will be free of artificial fertilizers making it entirely natural. The positive outcomes from this project are numerous. We will grow eatable plants on the wall and raise tilapia fish so that what is produced by the Aquaponics System can be used by Wellington’s cooking classes and our lunch program. Once the project is firmly established we can experiment with raising trout to maturity, which the school could contribute to help the repopulation of lakes and streams. The plants on the wall will act as a natural insulator, lowering school heating costs as well as reducing energy usage. As well as directly benefitting the environment, the system will provide students with the opportunity to get involved and to learn more about the environment through firsthand experience. One of the goals of the Aquaponics Project is to educate the public about the benefits of aquaponics. We want the community to know what we are doing and how they can help us and the environment. To reach this goal, we have created a MP4 video to present an understandable yet detailed description of the project. Because the multimedia form we chose is easy to upload to our online site, our Twitter page, and our Facebook page, we are able to spread the word through technology. The video shows images of hardworking students enjoying the work they are doing. This is fitting seeing as the spirit of the Aquaponics Project lies with the passion of the students. Wellington is proud of the work our environmental club has done on this project. We will continue to work towards our projects goals – to efficiently build the system, educate the public, and promote sustainability in our school and greater community. Ultimately, we hope to help other schools in developing countries develop their own systems. Benefits to at Risk Youth Wellingtons Aquaponics Project will grow fresh organic fruits, Vegetables and herbs for our lunch program. This will help subsidize the food cost. Our food program provides food cards to over 20 students that have been deemed at risk. Those same cards a purchased by students and staff so that the students that receive them free are not stigmatized in any way. Also many at risk students that work in the food program and the Aquaponics program work alongside non at risk students . This gives them a more skill based learning environment that helps keep them in the system. Our aim is to grow our production to a point that we greatly subsidize our food program. Hunger and Malnutrition are two of the main barriers to learning. This has pointed out by the United Nations World Program, Jamie Oliver and many others. By providing students healthy and inexpensive we believe we will greatly improve their possibility of success in school. As well food and the opportunity to be a productive member of this project has already kept at risk students in the building.
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