Sweet Water Foundation
At Sweet Water Foundation, (SWF, a 501c3 organization), our mission is to educate for resilient 21st century communities through the scientific and entrepreneurial tenets of aquaponics and urban agriculture. We do this in part by developing and delivering intergenerational and interdisciplinary educational programming that incorporates historical, technological, scientific, artistic, and cultural components into hands-on curriculum, designed to inspire our students and teachers. SWF staff teach classes, act as liaisons to vocational and educational institutions, cultivate volunteers and interns, and coordinate personal mentoring programs for youth. We also host regular educational events, such as speaker events, book readings, film screenings and discussions, community agricultural forums, and local partners. Our work addresses such topics as community and economic development, health/wellness concerns, the STEAM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics), and environmental stewardship concerning local and global themes of food, soil, water, and energy.
SWF currently operates one interactive aquaponics center in Milwaukee in conjunction with Sweet Water Organics farm and one in Chicago in conjunction with Chicago State University. From these two sites, SWF has impacted thousands of people through educational programs and initiatives for K-12 institutions, universities and lifelong learners. Since 2009, Sweet Water’s goals and approach have resonated with communities all over the world, and our efforts have been recognized by IBM Smarter Cities for a Smarter Planet Challenge, NY Times, NPR, NBC News, the MacArthur Foundation, the U.S. State Department, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Mayoral Food Access Summit supporting Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative.