The Bahamas Weekly Facebook The Bahamas Weekly Twitter
Community Last Updated: Dec 5, 2014 - 10:25:14 PM


Lyford Cay School Builds Aquaponics Outdoor Classroom
By Gillian Watson, LCIS
Jun 13, 2012 - 3:35:25 PM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
lyford_1.jpg
esse Baker, PhD builds an aquaponics system with the help of Grade 5 Students at Lyford Cay International School

Nassau, Bahamas - As part of their 50th Anniversary Speaker Series, Lyford Cay International School (LCIS) invited sustainability expert, social entrepreneur and humanitarian, Jesse Baker PhD, and his partner, Chrissy Gray, to teach students about sustainability.  “Our efforts are meant to (re)define sustainability in more comprehensive terms, and to inspire individuals to take action in their everyday lives,” said Baker.

Baker and Gray founded a non-profit organization in California to develop various projects that promote an ethic of "sustainability."  Baker and Gray believe that sustainability has become overly focused on the industries of cutting carbon emissions and energy savings. “These are important components of sustainability, but far short of the complete picture,” said Baker when addressing grade 11 students of LCIS. “ Far too often, social issues are left out of the picture, and the importance of individual action is vastly under addressed.” He shared his  experiences in Latin America, Antarctica, and Haiti reminding them that we are all linked because we all share the same planet. “ Don’t wait for the big corporations or governments to change the way they are treating the environment, “ he told students, ”become ‘agents of change’ and try to take small steps to living more sustainably.”  
 
During the week that Baker and Gray spent in Nassau they spent a lot of time with the students at LCIS, whether during formal talks and presentations or over lunch in the school library. The conversations were remarkably varied, ranging from instructions on how to care for the school’s newly built aquaponics outdoor classroom, to the possibility of LCIS students taking part in humanitarian trips to Haiti. Students, teachers, administrators and parents all had opportunities to meet with the pair and discuss their ideas on sustainability and how LCIS, as a school, could become more sustainable.
 
 
The topic was a timely one as LCIS embarks on the first steps of achieving Green Flag School Status. Baker and Gray, with the help of LCIS students, built The Aquaponics Outdoor Classroom on the campus, and used it to engage students in conversations about the environmental impact of most food production industries.
 
 
Students learned that aquaponics was a sustainable method of food production because it did not use fertilizers, used very little electricity, recycled water, required no soil in which to grow plants, produced plants at a faster rate than traditional farming and also provided fresh fish as a food source. During his conversations with the students, Baker told students about his visits to Haiti to distribute portable water filtration systems to the often forgotten people living in rural areas. “We needed to get them an efficient way of filtering their water because they were in the middle of a cholera outbreak,” explained Baker. The water filtration project in Haiti led into an aquaponics project. “The challenge was to help the Haitian people gain access to fresh water and healthy food in a country where there is very high pollution of water sources and very little soil for growing food. And Aquaponics was the answer, fresh food in plant form as well as fresh fish!” Within the modular system, fish are raised symbiotically with plant production through a closed system that uses 90% less water than regular agriculture.
 
 
The Aquaponics system built at LCIS is much the same as the systems installed in Haiti. Essentially, there is a tank containing fish which produce waste. Water, carrying the fish waste, is pumped from the tank into a series of water channels that contain edible plants situated in porous baskets. The plants roots are anchored in a clay ball growing medium that gives the roots somewhere to adhere too and eliminates the need for soil. The nutrient rich water feeds the roots of the plants as it passes through the channels. The plants roots also filter the water so that eventually clean water falls back into the fish tank below, where it begins it cycle all over again. Aquaponics uses 90% less water than traditional farming and no added fertilizers. The system at LCIS will be used to teach much more that sustainability, it is also a wonderful tool for teaching math, biology, history, civic engagement and it could also be a way to develop another lasting community engagement program at LCIS. “We are happy to invite other school to visit our Aquaponics Outdoor Classroom and learn how they can build similar systems on their campus,” said principal, Stacy Bobo.

 


Bookmark and Share


© Copyright 2012 by thebahamasweekly.com

Top of Page

Community
Latest Headlines
Bahamas Police investigate alleged drowning death
RBPF Nassau seize drugs
Grand Bahama Police investigate fatal stabbing incident
RBPF Abaco conduct routine road check, 19 drivers sited with infractions
Visiting the Grand Bahama Shipyard Proves that Even in the Industrial Sector, it’s Better in The Bahamas
57th annual Heart Ball set for February 14th: Heart Month Events Announced
Mr. Bahamas Kenneth Kerr off to Mr. International in Seoul, Korea
RBPF: Forced entry in Nassau home and black 1999 Mercedes Benz stolen - 16 arrests made
BNT’s Wine and Art Festival Saturday, Jan. 31st
Master Motivator Spence Finlayson fires up BTC Yellow Pages Agents
Nassau Man and Woman to be Arraigned On Murder & Attempted Murder Charges Friday
Miss Bahamas Teenager off to Guatemala
RBPF Nassau: High powered assault rifle seized, 10 arrested - Handgun found in Pinewood Gardens - 27 other arrests
Grand Bahama BNT Lecture Series Opens to a Packed House
“Peace Begins With Me” weekend in Nassau, February ‏ 27th & 28th
BTC and One Bahamas Committee Plan Grand Bahama Unity Walk February 21
Humane Society of Grand Bahama in Danger of Closing Due to Lack of Support
Suspect in Nassau nightclub murder turns himself in - 23 arrests
“Value Added Tax & The Small Business Sector”
RBPF Nassau: Illegal handgun found in Elizabeth Estates - 22 arrests made
Nassau Woman robbed of white Ford Edge vehicle
CIBC FirstCaribbean holds food/clothes drive for Bahamas Urban Youth Development Centre
Look & Learn Hair Passion seminar held in Grand Bahama
Police Leadership Team Hosts COB President to Police HQ
RBPF Nassau: Weekend homicides identified - 8 arrested for murder -
Salvation Army Freeport Corps Celebrates 30 Years with Commemorate Events
Happy pets are healthy pets
Suspect in Nassau nightclub murder suspect arrested, two other being sought
Grand Bahama police remove unlicenced firearm from streets, arrest 1 male
Myles Munroe mentee launches, "Myles Munroe Lunchtime Moments"
Nassau murder suspect taken into custody - DEU recover handgun - 11 arrests
Man shot and killed at Nassau nightclub on Faith Avenue South
Nassau police search for sexual assault suspect - 16 arrests made
Male Haitian National found dead in home on Eneas Street, Nassau
RBPF Nassau: 31 arrests - Shotgun and handgun recovered
Atlantis Shows Support for 2015 Race Weekend
CIBC FirstCaribbean Battles Hunger in Most Vulnerable
COB Caribs Learn Life Lessons from NBA Basketball Legend
Grand Bahama Crime has Decreased by 24 Percent, says ACP Seymour
Bahamas police probing pornographic video posted on internet