St. Croix Lutheran Receives Grant for Aquaponic Greenhouse
West St. Paul, MN
Thursday, March 30, 2015: St. Croix Lutheran Grades 6-12, West St. Paul, Minnesota, will receive a $7,150 Minnesota Independent School Forum (MISF) STEM Innovation Grant to help fund an aquaponic greenhouse. The award will be presented at the 2015 Private and Independent Education Awards ceremony on Sunday, April 26, 2015 at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul campus, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
The aquaponic greenhouse will be constructed in the summer of 2015 and will be installed in the courtyard of the former boys’ dormitory. The greenhouse will be a self-contained, close-looped system that combines water, fish, fish food, and seeds to create an excellent growing environment in all temperatures with very little waste. The waste that is produced will be used again as a liquid fertilizer and is nontoxic. The unit will be equipped with heating and cooling systems, but because so much heat is generated by the processes within the greenhouse and the underlying structure, very little outside energy will be used.
St. Croix Lutheran will use the aquaponic greenhouse as part of their science curriculum and plans to use the harvested produce in their food program and for landscaping around the campus. “We are thrilled to have received this grant, and are eager to begin building and then using the greenhouse,” states David Mielke, biology instructor at St. Croix Lutheran. “We are hoping that the students will be inspired to garden for themselves after seeing that fruits and vegetables will grow in Minnesota, even during the winter.”
St. Croix Lutheran’s STEM program currently includes courses in Engineering and Design, Computer Science, and Robotics; the school plans to add more courses in the future. St. Croix Lutheran Grades 6-12 was established in 1958 and serves the local community and the world with an excellent college-preparatory curriculum including 15 AP and college-credit courses, championship co-curriculars, and a global perspective in a caring, Christian family community.
For more information about the greenhouse project, contact Dave Mielke (DMielke@StCroixLutheran.org) or Todd Russ (Truss@StCroixLutheran.org), by calling the school at 651-455-1521, or by sending an email to Kristina Lewerenz at KLewerenz@StCroixLutheran.org.