Community lends a hand at Pearl City Elementary Hydroponics and Aquaculture Center

 

Volunteers from the Pearl City community and Military on Oahu came together on Saturday, April 27 to assist Pearl City Elementary School staff and students in the construction and development of the school's new Hydroponics and Aquaculture Center.

"Pearl City partnered with the community to re-create our Hydroponics and Aquaculture program," said Pearl City Elementary School Principal Dr. Susan Hirokane. "We have our teachers, parents and Navy partners helping us. Today we are in the third phase and we will be adding the lattice and shade screen to our greenhouse. Our goal is to grow healthy plants. When we harvest the plants we'll leave it out in the front of the school for those who want to take it. We started the program in the classroom, but since we do vermicasting, we wanted to put everything in one site instead of independent classrooms. We asked the military for help and they've been helping us out a lot with other projects as well. I'm very grateful that different groups have helped us with construction, carpentry and masonry too. We've also received a lot of donations from about five or six different groups."

"We’re building a greenhouse and we're planting a native Hawaiian Garden and also we will have a water feature with aquaponics," said Tammy Calbero, Pearl City Elementary School Counselor and coordinator of the Hydroponics and Aquaculture Center Program. "The students will help maintain the program. Kindergarten will be working in the greenhouse, fourth grade will do our native Hawaiian plants, and sixth grade will do our aquaponics. We're hoping by May 15 we'll have it all working and up and ready, but for sure by August we'll have it fully ready for the students to work in. We have great support from the Military at Camp Smith, and also from the Navy, PacSun, also volunteers from parents, our community representatives, our Church group and our Karate group. We also have the support from the PTO, the Parent & Teacher Organization who is helping fund it. We really appreciate everyone who has come out to help us. It’s been really nice and friendly and great support."

We would like to wish Principal Hirokane and Counselor Calbero, along with the Pearl City Elementary School staff, students, parents and community volunteers the best of luck as the Hydroponics and Aquaculture Center takes root and flourishes in the months ahead.

                                                                                                     Photo by Barry Villamil | barry@mypearlcity.com

Student volunteers pictured helping out in the soon to be completed greenhouse at Pearl City Elementary School.

                                                                                                     Photo by Barry Villamil | barry@mypearlcity.com

Active Duty Military volunteers played a big role in the construction of the greenhouse on Saturday,

April 27, 2013 during the Hydroponics and Aquaculture Center workday at Pearl City Elementary School.

                                                                                                     Photo by Barry Villamil | barry@mypearlcity.com

Tammy Calbero, Pearl City Elementary School Counselor and coordinator of the Hydroponics and

Aquaculture Center Program, is pictured with her husband who volunteered his construction skills and

expertise in the design and building of the greenhouse.

                                                                                                     Photo by Barry Villamil | barry@mypearlcity.com

Volunteers worked hard on Saturday preparing and planting native Hawaiian plants in the garden area.

Aquaponics System

                                                                                                     Photo by Barry Villamil | barry@mypearlcity.com

Tilapia fish tank.

                                                                                                     Photo by Barry Villamil | barry@mypearlcity.com

                                                                                                     Photo by Barry Villamil | barry@mypearlcity.com

Final result! Healthy, thriving plants fertilized from Tilapia wastes.