Check out: Health Autonomy Clinic COVID-19 Resources!

Our NATURE Lab initiative will be housed in the NATURE Lab Environmental Education Center (now in construction), with three key programs: 

North Central Troy is one of the most environmentally devastated neighborhoods of New York State, adjacent to brownfield areas, combined sewer overflows, and seemingly endless litter.

One block from the Hudson River, our environmental education campus — including Collard City Growers (garden, L-Lot and Food Cycle), the NATURE Lab Residency Space and Freedom Square  — offers programming including community workshops, public art installations, artist residencies, research activities, and after school activities. We seek to combine global expertise with local knowledge to address the issues that are unique to the North Troy ecosystem and community.

See a list of all NATURE Lab workshops

NATURE Lab Environmental Education Center

In 2018, we commenced the community-led design process for the new Environmental Education Center. The Center will transform a long-abandoned building at 3319 6th Ave into a resource for the North Troy community. The new space will seek to empower the public with grassroots science through its community science lab, Health Autonomy Clinic and Hudson Mohawk Environmental Action Network.

Additionally, we hope to find more ways the Environmental Education Center can give back to the neighborhood  This initiative is led by Professor Kathy High, Project Coordinator. Please reach out if you want to be involved, by emailing

More about our Level 1 Community Science Lab

The new NATURE Lab Center will host a biosafety level 1 community science lab for testing the health of our environment and for bio-art exploration and creation. Our goal is to educate about environmental issues, implement creative collaborative solutions, and empower our community to make positive changes. Our community science lab will be outfitted with equipment to regularly test our soil, air, and water.

Our collaborating partnerships include creating the Water Justice Lab with Riverkeeper. The project will establish a water quality sampling lab, educate diverse communities about water literacy and water civics (water issues and how to make a difference), develop the advocacy capacity of the North Troy area, and strengthen a network of environmental justice advocates focused on water issues in the Hudson River Watershed. 

More about the Health Autonomy Clinic

As part of the Sanctuary for Independent Media’s growing Nature LAB, the Health Autonomy Clinic‘s goal is to establish a central space in Troy at The NATURE Lab Environmental Education Center to share health skills, provide basic integrative care and explore ways to build networks of community health. HAC embraces model of open sharing of health knowledge, and empower all community members to seek their independent health goals, as opposed to the traditional, hierarchical top-down approach of clinical medical practice. Though caring for our elders, our children, or cooking soul-nourishing food for family or friends may not be deemed ‘real’ healthcare, they know that in fact, it’s what holds us together and keeps us sane. Led by JJ Luceno and Dr. Frank Coughlin, out growing network sharing skills to build a space where creative, joyful health is possible and accessible.

In this current crisis, we are more than even committed to the potential that Health Autonomy Clinic can offer.  Everyone it seems is struggling to keep up with the flood of information about the current crisis, the ways those in power are forcing us back to a “normal”, the over-reliance of the economy as a marker of anything lending towards health.  And then we have the horrific news from Georgia and Minneapolis, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, a stark reminder of the crisis behind the crisis.  Covid has only exacerbated the social oppressions and disparities that mark the “normal” so many of the elites want to return to.