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The Science Barge is an itinerant floating science museum now docked in Yonkers, New York, USA. It is also a working urban farm operated by the sustainable development organization Groundwork Hudson Valley, and designed by the New York Sun Works Center for Sustainable Engineering. The Science Barge grows crops using a Hydroponics greenhouse powered by solar panels, wind turbines, and biofuels. The crops in the greenhouse are irrigated by captured rainwater and desalinated river water. Food is grown without carbon emissions, no agricultural waste is discharged into the watershed and no pesticides are used. The barge was designed by the visionary environmental engineer Dr. Ted Caplow.
The goal of the Science Barge is to promote food production within cities around the world in an ecologically sustainable way. The Science Barge uses this goal to teach sustainability to students of all ages, and has an active education program for school and camp trips. The Barge is open to the public.
In November 2008, the Science Barge docked in Yonkers, New York, USA on the Hudson River at the mouth of the Saw Mill River. The Yonkers downtown site was selected for a variety of reasons, including:
- to add yet another exciting destination to the Yonkers downtown to create a vibrant recreation and commerce district
- to provide easy access to mass transit including MetroNorth, Amtrak, and Bee-Line Bus System at the historic Yonkers train station, and New York Water Taxi at the Yonkers Pier
- to offer easy bicycle and pedestrian access from the Waterfront Promenade and
- to highlight the restoration work of the Saw Mill River - a major Hudson River tributary
At one time it was located on Pier 92, next to the New York Passenger Ship Terminal, the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises pier, and the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum. In 2007 it was at Pier 84, until the end of October, where it reappeared in late April 2008.
As awareness of sustainable food production methods and specific interest in Building-integrated agriculture (which the Barge was designed to promote) have grown, coverage of the Barge has increased. In July 2009, GOOD created a short video of the purpose and methods of the Barge. In the same month, former CBS News Anchor Dan Rather hosted an episode of "Dan Rather Reports" on the Barge. Prior coverage included a 2008 podcast with Jen Nelkin and Zak Adams of the Science Barge speaking to the New York Academy of Sciences about the barge and how it functions. Other original coverage from 2007-2009 can be found on the "New York Sun Works press page". A hydroponic greenhouse, inspired by the Science Barge, was recently opened on the roof of the Manhattan School for Children.
In March 2009, the Science Barge was named "Best Class Trip" by New York magazine in its annual "Best Of..." issue. In June 2010 it was docked in Yonkers.
- Official Website
- GOOD Magazine short video summarizing the Science Barge
- NY Times story and slideshow
- Feature on WNYC Radio
- New York Magazine Rated Best Class Trip
- Article in Growing Edge Magazine
- Article in New York Observer
- New York Academy of Sciences Podcast
- New York Sun Works, creators of The Science Barge