BUW helps celebrate Aquaponics Lab & Growing Facility Grand Opening

October 27, 2021


Over the last year and a half, Berkshire United Way – in partnership with local food pantries, food organizations and many volunteers – has been helping get lettuce that is cultivated at the Aquaponics Lab & Growing Facility at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction into the hands of residents facing food insecurity.

Read our original story: "Feeding the Community, One Head of Lettuce at a Time."

Brenda Petell, our director of volunteer engagement, has played an integral role in this effort and spoke about it at the grand opening celebration of the facility on October 27. BUW staff joined community members, elected officials and supporters in touring the facility and hearing from Sheriff Thomas Bowler; Jack Quinn, special sheriff and retired superintendent; Sam Fleming, executive director of 100 Gardens; and Robin McGraw, president of Berkshire Education & Correction Services.

Read more from iBerkshires: "House of Correction's Aquaponics Lab Feeding Needy, Imparting Skills."

Brenda Petell speaks at Aquaponics Lab grand opening


Brenda Petell shares how Berkshire United Way helped get lettuce out into the community. 


Jack Quinn, Sam Fleming, Sheriff Bowler and Robin McGraw cut ribbon to aquaponics lab


Ribbon cutting | Jack Quinn (special sheriff and retired superintendent), Sam Fleming (executive director of 100 Gardens), Sheriff Thomas Bowler, and Robin McGraw, president of Berkshire Education & Correction Services. 

Correctional Officer Jason Turner shows lettuce growing


Correctional Officer Jason Turner, part of the team at the lab, explains the growing process.


Brenda Petell hands out heads of lettuce


Not unexpected, Brenda volunteers to hand out lettuce (alongside Ellen Kennedy, president of Berkshire Community College).