In July 2014, ANC 3F Commissioners and the Forest Hills Connection were invited to visit UDC’s research farm in Maryland. There, Sabine O’Hare, the dean of the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Studies, explained the farm’s aquaponics system.
This Tuesday, April 25th, the community is invited to a ribbon-cutting event celebrating the UDC Van Ness campus’s own, brand-new aquaponics system. Tommy Wells, the director of the DC Department of Energy and the Environment, will speak. For more details see the invitation below:
The University of the District of Columbia’s (UDC) College of Agriculture Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) will come together with community members next Tuesday to cut the ribbon on the new aquaponics system at UDC-Van Ness campus. Join us for a tour of the new greenhouse, demonstrations of the aquaponics system and remarks by Dr. Sabine O’Hara, Dean of CAUSES and Director of the University’s Landgrant Programs and Tommy Wells, Director of Department of Energy & Environment.
Aquaponics — a combination of hydroponics (growing plants in nutrient rich water) and aquaculture (fish production) — is a growing field that presents not only potential career options but helps students learn about fish and plant life, photosynthesis and life cycles. In an aquaponics system, fish and plants grow together. The systems convert waste produced by the fish into fertilizer for plants, which in turn filter water that enters the fish habitat. The new system coincides with our mission of creating economic self-sufficiency through the building of green jobs and community ownership.
UDC was awarded a grant to establish and operate four aquaponic demonstration projects in Wards 3, 5, 7 and 8. In May 2016, UDC held a ribbon-cutting for its first aquaponics facility at the East Capitol Urban Farm in Ward 7. UDC’s continued growth in aquaponics will serve as a base for job-skills and entrepreneurship training for low-skilled and semi-skilled District residents. When combined with a small greenhouse, each facility is expected to generate 500 pounds of fish and 5,000 pounds of produce annually.