Aqualogue aims to educate communities on sustainable food systems through outreach, art, lectures, classes, and hands-on fun in our aquaponics learning center. We opened our doors in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood in October 2016, where we are currently pursuing funding to launch Aqualogger, our online open resource hub, and start an educational pilot program.
For more on our mission and future goals, please read Aqualogue's feature in Chicago Inno.
ABOUT OUR EDUCATIONAL PILOT PROGRAM
Our pilot program will provide permanent system installations of our scaled-down, compact, user-friendly prototype throughout the Chicagoland area. The course covers the basics of aquaponics, promotes systems thinking, and teaches students horticulture and natural science concepts.
We have partnered with Gardeneers to help us get our kits and curriculum into underfunded Chicago public schools. We also plan to teach additional classes over the course of the next year at sites throughout the city, as well as in our Ukrainian Village home. Your financial support will help us pay our teachers and provide materials for our students.
ABOUT AQUALOGGER - OUR ONLINE OPEN RESOURCE HUB
Aqualogger aims to demystify the science behind aquaponics because we believe that anyone should be able to build an aquaponic garden and successfully grow their own food. Aqualogger will compile all of our research into one space, include step-by-step how-tos and an online data index with live tracking of Aqualogue’s in-house systems as well as the systems installed through our educational pilot program.
By providing real-time water quality info and straightforward data synthesis from a variety of aquaponic systems, Aqualogger will be a valuable educational tool and online community for both experienced and first-time growers alike.
Your financial support will help us launch Aqualogger, build our live tracker and ensure that our in-house system continues to compile the valuable data that will enhance our educational programming.
Aquaponics uses 90% less water than traditional farming - The world is running out of water. According to a 2015 study by NASA, the world’s aquifers are struggling to maintain their water supplies as demands from agriculture continue to spike in tandem with the world’s growing population.
Aquaponics is modular and adaptable and can be set up anywhere - By 2050 it is estimated that 80% of the world’s populations will be living in urban areas. Because local production is more sustainable, it is imperative that we develop alternative methods of growing food in urban environments where land resources are scarce.
WHY FOCUS ON EDUCATION AND RESEARCH?
We believe environmentally conscious food production builds self-reliant communities. By inspiring future community leaders and fostering the open sharing of information and data across borders and political lines we ensure our future success on this planet.
WHO ARE WE?
Andy Ayer is a co-founder and an aquaponics systems expert certified via Chicago Botanic Gardens.
Susan Lanier is a co-founder focusing on organizational development. She has a background in nonprofit fundraising and external affairs.
Nicole Pellegrini is a co-founder focusing on data systems management. She is the current Head of Quality Control at Dark Matter Coffee.
Margo Mejia oversees the development of Aqualogue's curriculum. She is a Seed-to-Table Garden Educator at Smart Love Preschool. Margo holds an M.Sc in organic agriculture and food systems.
Jacob Grobe manages volunteer organizing. He has a background in community organizing and workforce development for underserved Chicago residents.
Joe Seidman is a garden educator and assists in the development of Aqualogue's curriculum. He previously worked with FarmedHere and has experience with indoor farming.
Pat Marks is a chemist and hardware developer for Aqualogger. Here is a taste of his past work.
Shannon Murphy is a grant writer and consultant for Aqualogue, with a background in preventative wellness programs and publishing.
COLLABORATORS & FRIENDS OF AQUALOGUE
Gardeneers is a Chicago-based non-profit that runs hands-on garden education programs at more than 20 Chicago Public Schools in predominantly low-income, high food insecurity neighborhoods. Their programs focus on lessons pertaining to nutrition, community, and environment, using school gardens as the interactive classroom.
Chicago Youth Centers - The mission of CYC is to empower children to recognize and experience their possibility and promise. CYC is the city’s largest private urban youth organization. Through seven Centers on the south and west sides of Chicago and numerous partner sites throughout the city, CYC helps bridge the employable skills gap and empowers families to break persistent cycles of poverty and violence. Aqualogue is currently in the early stages of tailoring and developing our educational program to meet CYC's needs.
Patchwork Farms is a vegetable farm dedicated to transforming contaminated Chicago land into biodiverse community space while improving the accessibility of healthy food to our neighbors. Aqualogue is offering an aquaponics day in Patchwork's summer youth program.
Project Feed 1010 is a crowd-sourced network of scientists, teachers, students and farmers dedicated to creating a sustainable agriculture economy through the optimization of Aquaponics. Aqualogue is collaborating with PF1010 on probe research, aquaponics curriculum, and data management and analysis.
The Wasteshed is a nonprofit creative reuse space that seeks to provide Chicagoans with affordable arts, crafts, and school materials to promote sustainable living. Aqualogue relies on the Wasteshed as a resource for supplies and building materials.
The Normal Studio is a Chicago-based design studio. They designed Aqualogue's swag, website, and storefront signage.
Dark Matter Coffee is a coffee roastery based in Chicago's Ukrainian Village. They are dedicated to principals of traceability, innovation, and social responsibility, and have challenged traditional business practices by forming direct partnerships with farmers in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico. As friends of Aqualogue, Dark Matter has helped us reach a broader audience.
BUDGET / WHAT WILL YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS GO TOWARDS?
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge will be stabilizing a funding source for Aqualogue's programming beyond Spring of 2018. That said, we are a scrappy bunch and very confident that this first boost of funding will provide us with the time and resources needed to refine our curriculum and apply for grants to maintain Aqualogger into the future.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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