Exploring the Lowline: the world’s first underground park

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There are so many abandoned and free spaces in this vast city. Now, one group of researchers is looking to transform one of those spaces into something never been done before in the United States.

Tucked away in an old abandoned warehouse on the Lower East Side is a giant experiment known as the Lowline Lab.

"This is our attempt to test solar technology and bring natural sunlight into a dark space," says executive director Daniel Barasch.

Barasch is one of the founders behind the ambitious plan to turn an old trolley tunnel underneath Delancey Street into an underground park called the Lowline.

Turning train tracks into a park is nothing new (just look at the High Line) but it's never been done before underground.

"The Lowline would be a year-round park that people could use," says Barasch.

However, the challenge is growing an entire park and sustaining it underground where no sunlight reaches.

For now, they are testing out the plan in a warehouse, using a system of tubes and solar panel to draw in sunlight to help grow the plants.

So far, it's working. Barasch and his team have been able to grown over 50 species of plants and fruits including pineapples.

The park would cost 70 million dollars to build and would be raised through a Kickstarter campaign.

They plan to be open to the public by 2020. However, the Lab is still currently in negotiations with the MTA for the tunnel to be released to them.

In the meantime, it's a great educational tool for students who can come for free and learn all about sunlight and the process of photosynthesis.

The lab, located at 140 Essex Street, will be open on weekends for the next six months free of charge.

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