Brooke Singer
art, inquiry, action
Carbon Sponge is an ongoing interdisciplinary collaboration between artists, farmers, scientists, agroecologist, educators and the public to understand soil as a means to address climate chaos, improve health and build resiliency.

I initiated the project in 2018 while a Designer-in-Residence at the New York Hall of Science. Since then the team has been designing experimental plots to study soil dynamics and developing reliable protocols for anyone to track carbon and other characteristics in soils over time. We are growing the carbon farming movement to sink carbon in soils for the benefit of people, climate, plants and microbes.
Carbon Sponge launched at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) in Queens in 2018 and ran through 2019. A second Carbon Sponge garden was planted in Spring/Summer 2019 at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn. In 2020, we partnered with five organizations in NYC (Bronx River Alliance’s Foodway, GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden on Governors’ Island, Red Hook Farms and Prospect Farms) to pilot our kit, forming a group of land stewards to discuss urban carbon farming. In 2021, we additionally partnered with New York University’s Urban Farm Lab and two farms in Upstate NY Sugarshack Mushrooms and White Feather Farm. In 2022, we started the Carbon Sponge Hub at White Feather Farm and are now working with 10 farms in the Hudson Valley and Catskills regions.

Collaborators include Dr. Sara Perl Egendorf, Dr. Maha Deeb, Marisa Prefer and Katharhy Flores. Partnerships include: CUNY Advanced Scientific Research Center (ASRC), the Jacob Riis Settlement House at NYCHA Ravenswood, NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) and La Casita Verde (a NYC GreenThumb garden). Funders have included NYSCI, White Feather Farm, Patagonia, Brooklyn Arts Council, Globetrotter Foundation and ASRC.


Read in Art in America article “Symbiotic Art” by Claire Pentecost with mention of Carbon Sponge from March 2022.

Read the New York Times article “The City’s Buried Treasure is not Under the Dirt. It is the Dirt” with mention of Carbon Sponge from July 25, 2018.