Henry County is at the center of America’s food desert crisis, which limits the community’s access to nutritional foods. The lack of nutritional food has many negative impacts on this underserved community and many people aren’t even aware of this food crisis.
Six students, along with three volunteers, will participate in the Environmental Competition by EPICS in IEEE, in partnership with the UEF, to address this community issue. They created Project Henry County Aquaponics in the Park to create a solution to this food crisis, while also spreading awareness about this issue.
The team has come up with the idea of a smart community garden to distribute fresh produce to the local neighborhoods and elementary schools, while also offering new opportunities. The project’s three phases include Research & Collaboration, Engineering Design & Employment and Program Design & Implementation. The community garden will utilize environmentally friendly materials which will allow students and local members to get hands-on opportunities to work in STEM outreach fields. This will be the first step in a larger outreach program in Henry County that will further transform this community.
EPICS in IEEE granted $10,000 to begin the process of implementing this solution. The team will work alongside Bridge Solutions and Henry County Parks & Recreation to develop and maintain the garden, as well as further help to expand the program.