WisconsinAquaculture.com - Plymouth & Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School District Offers Aquaponics
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Plymouth & Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School District Offers Aquaponics

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It came as good news to the Plymouth High School senior, Allison Kriegel, that this school year, she'd not only get a hands-on lesson with prawns, but eventually she'd get to eat the student-raised crustaceans through the district's lunch program. It's just one of the new learning opportunities made possible with the district's newly opened Food Science and Agriculture Center.

Students in the Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School District are also enjoying the fruits of their new greenhouse, which opened for the start of the 2015-16 school year. Elkhart Lake's $286,947 greenhouse — paid for mostly by donations from the community — is a 1,625-square-foot addition to the high school building that students district-wide, from 3K up to high school, have already begun utilizing. "It’s important for kids to know where their food comes from and how it’s grown," said agriculture teacher Michelle Arbuckle. Bri Jankowski, a senior at Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah, is among the students utilizing the new facility this year. She and classmates in her horticulture class spent a day last week weighing and feeding tilapia, harvesting produce, testing PH levels and planting kale and lettuce seeds.

Plymouth's approximately $1 million agriculture center features a 30-by-90-foot greenhouse — upgraded from the one the districts' students used in previous years — as well as a 30-by-80-foot classroom and lab space. Funds for the project were raised by the Plymouth Education Foundation. Additionally, the Plymouth building comes with enhanced tools and resources, including aquaponics, a mutually beneficial growing system with fish and plants. "By having this space it just creates a whole new learning laboratory for our students, full of new learning opportunities," said agriculture teacher Tracy Heinbuch. "The ability to actually grow at a larger quantity that we can have an impact on our school is phenomenal. The students can actually grow this food and then see it on the lunch line and eat it, and they can know that it was harvested that day or the day before."

 

 

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