The Science Barge is an itinerant floating science museum now[when?] docked in Yonkers, New York, USA. It also functions as a working urban farm, operated by the sustainable development organization Groundwork Hudson Valley. The barge was designed by visionary environmental engineer Ted Caplow of the New York Sun Works Center for Sustainable Engineering. The Science Barge grows crops using a hydroponic 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.
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 carefully selected for key reasons, including:
- 1. to add an attraction to the Yonkers downtown according to placemaking principles - "Power of 10" - articulated by the Project for Public Spaces;
- 2. to promote easy access to mass transit including at MetroNorth, Amtrak, and Bee-Line Bus System at the historic Yonkers train station, and New York Water Taxi at the Yonkers Pier;
- 3. to offer easy bicycle and pedestrian access from the existing Waterfront Promenade, and future planned trail connections to the Old Croton Aqueduct, the planned Saw Mill River Daylighting Path, the planned Downtown Yonkers RailTrail from Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, and the planned Hudson River Greenway from NYC to Albany;
- 4. to highlight the restoration work of the Saw Mill River - a major Hudson River tributary; and,
- 5. to provide a research, training, and development platform for Groundwork Hudson Valley's Yonkers-based food programs including the Get Fresh Yonkers Food Coop, Farmers Market, and Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA).
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 to add another destination as part of the continuing revitalization of its downtown.
- Official Website
- GOOD Magazine short video summarizing the Science Barge
- Columbia University's Teachers College Video on education on the 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
- Brazilian Television News Crew Visit Science Barge
- Columbia University Architecture Students View Aquaponics on Science Barge
- TripHoney Tourism for Teens Video on the Science Barge
- Earth Institute of Columbia University article on the Science Barge
- Caplow, Ted. "People". Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- Li, Mingliang (2012-05-25). "Research on the university flea market phenomenon". Outside Reading-Huaxia Publishing House 56. PMID CN11-4602/G4.