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Rooftop farm opens at East Village school building

East Village school building home to new rooftop garden; low-cost initiative by community designed by 9/11 memorial architect

The Robert Simon Complex on 6th Street in the East Village, already home to the Earth School, P.S. 64, and Tompkins Square Park School, now also includes a rooftop garden called Fifth Street Farm.

The garden is designed by Michael Arad, the architect behind the 9/11 memorial.

The rooftop farm spans 2,400 square feet and will be used to teach students about plants and the environment. The students will have the opportunity to grow, harvest and eat herbs, vegetables and fruit.

There is also space for experimentation with things like storm-water capture and solar energy.

The garden is unique in part because of its intentionally low-cost design. Preparations for the farm took six years of collaborative effort by etchers, parents, students, and community partners.

Community groups are hoping that the success made out of a challenging space and limited budget will serve as incentive to establish more farms like this one, and cater to primarily low-income students and communities of color, according to Fifth Street Farm and the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center.

 
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