The North Troy Art, Technology and Urban Research in Ecology Lab, otherwise know as NATURE Lab (NL), is the Sanctuary’s community health and urban ecology research initiative. NL began in 2010 as a series of pop-up workshops and symposiums, alongside artist and scientist research residencies. NL has since moved to its current location at 3319 6th Ave and is the initiative that connects and houses our community science lab, People’s Health Sanctuary, and Collard City Growers.

The front entrance of NATURE Lab, a two-story urban building with blue siding and a green front door.
In NATURE Lab, a dark-skinned Sanctuary youth fellow wearing vinyl gloves proudly shows a water sample to  a light-skinned older man.
Two women examine seed packets at a seed exchange.

The NATURE Lab building opened in 2020 with support from a Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) grant. The first floor of NL houses our community biology lab where we conduct environmental justice research, with a focus on our air (Air Justice Lab), soil (Our Soil), and water (Water Justice Lab). The second floor of NL houses a flexible community space that is home to The People’s Health Sanctuary, which is our mutual aid health space that focuses on community well-being through holistic practices. The NL yard is home to an evolving array of living sculptures and acts as a space for outdoor learning. Our newly added Medicine Garden and Talking Circle connect to the greater campus through our growing Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail.

This decade-long process of NL’s growth was guided by The Sanctuary for Independent Media founders Kathy High, our NATURE Lab Coordinator; Branda Miller, the Sanctuary’s Arts & Education Coordinator; and Steve Pierce, the Sanctuary’s former Executive Director (2005-2022). Additional contributors include Melissa Bromley, the Sanctuary’s former Development Director, as well as Xavier Coughlin and JJ Luceno, who aided in the establishment of People’s Health Sanctuary. Project design and construction of NL is in thanks to Barb Nelson, Executive Director for TAP, architecture advisor Joe Fama, construction lead David Downer, and with the generous funds from the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Interested in learning more or getting involved? Contact us at [email protected], (518) 272-2390, or fill out our volunteer application here!

Want to rent our NATURE Lab or People’s Health Sanctuary space(s)? Contact us at [email protected], (518) 272-2390, or fill out our event and workshop application here!

Have specifics concerns, comments, or questions? Contact our Community Science Educator and Lab Manager, Ellie Irons, at [email protected]!

NATURE Lab Projects:

Want to get involved?

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Check out the Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail:

View the Map

Learn about our past that brought us to our present:

NATURE Lab’s History

Stories about Nature Lab

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We use art and participatory action to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of creative expression.

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