North Troy Art, Technology and Urban Research in Ecology

NATURE Lab promotes sustainability, and urban research in ecology using art, technology and science.

NATURE Lab is a volunteer-led initiative of The Sanctuary for Independent Media.  Our ecosystem in North Central Troy is one of the most environmentally devastated neighborhoods of New York State. One block from the Hudson River, our environmental education campus is adjacent to brownfield areas, combined sewer overflows, and seemingly endless litter. The long-gone prosperity of this neighborhood is evident in its architecture, with many historic buildings left vacant and decaying.  NATURE Lab seeks to remediate the disrepair through education, resource access, and inspiration.

Artist/scientist teams work with the community around issues of “curing” our local ecologies, and expanding attention to health and nutrition education, urban gardening and composting, food justice, environmental sustainability. This DIY (and do-it-together!) project hosts community workshops, public art installations, artist residencies and ongoing research activities in our surrounding ecosystem, serving the immediate community and surrounding region by teaching art and ecology, providing after school activities for youth, job training programs, and facilitating opportunities to improve the health and welfare of our area. NATURE Lab’s community science center is a living learning laboratory designed to attract participants from the hyper local to the global. 

Active NATURE Lab Projects:

  • Next Epoch Seed Library
  • Composting: Troy Zero Waste
  • Combined Sewage Overflow
  • Ruderal Ecologies (Plants in the Ruins)
  • Bio-Mapping
  • Hudson River Water Quality
  • Collard City Growers gardens
  • Collard City Growers Aquaponics
  • Invasive Pigments

Funded Projects:

•DEC Hudson River Estuary Grant: Troy Citizen Science Center: Teaching Stewardship of Our Hudson River Estuary”
• National Endowment for the Arts, “Bio-art Futures and (Forgotten) Urban Ecologies  
• “Urban Art Reclamations: Our Upper Hudson Heritage,” NEA ArtWorks, 2016-18
• “Echoes from Lock One,” NEA ArtWorks, 2017-18

• “Bio Art in an Industrial Wasteland,” NEA ArtWorks, 2013-2014
• “Found Art in North Troy,” NEA Our Town, 2012-2014
• “Youth Media Sanctuary” Megaphone, NEA ArtWorks, 2012-2013