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Ecological consciousness credit John Maggiotto 27

Carbon Sponge

Artist
Brooke Singer

Collaborators
Sara Perl Egendorf, Marisa Prefer, Sumak K. (Victor Flores), Danny Fabricant, Cara Lambrento, Sahery Arain

Partners
New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), Brooklyn College Urban Soils Institute, the CUNY Advanced Scientific Research Center (ASRC), the Jacob Riis Settlement House at NYCHA Ravenswood, the NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) and La Casita Verde (a GreenThumb garden). Funders include NYSCI, Patagonia and ASRC

Locations
New York Hall of Science, Queens; Jacob Riis Settlement House at NYCHA Ravenswood, Queens; La Casita Verde, Brooklyn

One of sixteen projects in the 2018 exhibition Ecological Consciousness: Artist as Instigator.

Ecological consciousness credit John Maggiotto 18

Photo: John Maggiotto

Carbon Sponge is an interdisciplinary effort to understand how various conditions affect the amount of carbon stored or released in soils with a focus on urban and exurban conditions. Soil is an important retainer of carbon, second only to our oceans. Carbon Sponge is a living laboratory to learn how to turn soil into a better sink and slow down the release of carbon as a means to reduce CO2 and fight climate change. Brooke Singer initiated the pilot project in 2017 at La Casita Verde, a community garden that she co-founded. The project was expanded at New York Hall of Science where she was a Designer-in-Residence. Working with the Explainers she designed, built and planted 24 test plots. Each plot had the same soil mixture but the plantings vary: sunflowers, edibles (gooseberry and okra), cover crop mixture, sunflowers and edibles, edibles and cover crop mixture, sunflowers and cover crop mixture and edibles, cover crop mixture and sunflowers as well as a control plot with no plants.