If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about aquaponics, Friday is your chance when the St. Thomas-St. John Chapter of the V.I. Network of Environmental Educators (VINE) hosts a workshop at Ivanna Eudora Kean High School on St. Thomas from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“It’s to show what you can do in your backyard,” said Audrey Penn, program manager at the Friends of V.I. National Park and a member of VINE.
The project at Kean is modeled after a larger-scale one at the University of the Virgin Islands that utilizes the water used in tilapia farming to grow vegetables.
Penn expects a marketing consultant and representatives from the V.I. Energy Office and UVI to make presentations at the workshop.
According to a VINE press release, the students have been working side by side with the construction and development team to create various fish treatment areas as well as learning how to install all the electrical and plumbing for the program.
The Kean aquaponics program also plans to utilize a greenhouse area adjacent to the aquaponics area to grow vegetables and herbs using the grey water created by the fish farm.
VINE’s goal is to educate, inform and inspire students, teachers and the community on the importance of preserving and protecting the environment. The organization wants to showcase the hydroponic lab and aquaponics program and explain how this can lead to economic and career benefits for young entrepreneurs, families, restaurant owners and the rest of the community.
The goal for the Kean project is to promote healthy eating by harvesting fish and vegetables using appropriate aquaponics technology and equipment, and developing sustainable living in the Virgin Islands.
Penn said that aquaponics can create jobs and help families sustain themselves.
The program at Kean High was developed with $5,000 worth of help from UVI’s Environmental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research to get students interested in science, technology, engineering and math within the context of environmental education and socio-economics.
For more information, call Penn at 779-4940.