Lincoln Park: Towards Healthy Living with Hydroponic Gardening
This summer, I am interning at the Lincoln Park Health Department. My primary goal is to promote the Live Sugarfreed campaign in the community and raise awareness about the health hazards of a high sugar diet. The campaign is to run for 16 weeks culminating with Lincoln Park Day on September 22, 2018. We aim to decrease sugar consumption among residents and make them aware of healthier alternatives that are available within reach.
Health Officer, Kathy Skrobala, has also been working hard to ensure that I have a full exposure to the business of local health – from inspections of community lake, restaurants, and other service providers, to a thorough understanding of effective health education, to the layout and design of health education materials, to collaborations with non-profits, grant distributors, and community resources, etc.
I am excited about my time here, but what I am most thrilled and amazed about are the positive developments that have unfolded through partnerships and small connections with local agencies. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Chapel Hill Academy in town – a K-12 private school for students with learning, social, emotional, and behavioral issues. Chapel Hill Academy received two hydroponic towers from Lincoln Park Health Department in collaboration with a New Jersey Healthy Communities Network grant from Chilton Medical Center/Atlantic Health System. Hydroponic towers are vertical, aeroponic growing system that allow you to grow fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers in less than three square feet – indoors and out. Science teacher, Tammy Perkins, has plans to incorporate the produce from the hydroponic towers into students’ lunch meals. I had the pleasure to meet three students from Ms. Perkins’ class who were involved in the set-up of the towers and currently its maintenance. The company, from which the towers were purchased, also offer lesson plans to integrate the growing system into class curriculums. The school enthusiasm is infectious, and it is the perfect companion to Lincoln Park’s journey towards healthy living.
About the Grantee
The Lincoln Park Health Department works toward improving the lives of its 10,000 plus residents. The mission of the Health Department is to prevent, promote, and protect. Prevent disease, promote healthy living, and protect the public health hazards.