A public community aquarium open and available for community maintenance by both aquarium owners and non-aquarium owners (and would like to be, but can’t) in our neighborhood, with the purpose of being enjoyed by all community members in a community atmosphere. Being managed, maintained and operated by the community would help further bind community members and even give more opportunities for involvement with each other inside the community.
As a 25+ veteran in Coral Reef Aquariums…. passionate aquarium keepers can never have too many aquariums to work on and keep. And I would be all too glad to teach my fellow neighbors my hobby in a neighborhood community environment, and I can’t be the only one.
I also know there’s more than a few aquarium hobbyist in our community. As a member of the BBT, I’ve seen a few aquariums through the windows of my neighbors – even other Marine aquariums. And I think it’s sad I don’t know any of them, except one.
For members of our community – it should be in a family friendly community atmosphere, but that also a great number of spaces that are not currently used.
If not in ‘Het Groene Eland’ or in another existing community center, I’ve often thought perhaps the old office building on Zoutmanstraat might be suitable. Reliable water / electrical connections will be a necessity and the floor structures should be very strong. Other than that, it can be “cheap”. But I think it should also be something of a center piece of the neighborhood – where individuals and families could enjoy and relax by even. It should be located in an environment that stimulates community engagement, and helps draw people in.
For increasing a sense of community and creating opportunities to build bridges to our own community not currently realized. Even people who normally aren’t aquarium hobbyist themselves, are quite often drawn into a large impressive aquarium with fish, plants and/or corals.
Also the health benefits of Aquariums for both the elderly and people with ADHD and Autism have been documented and cited elsewhere. But even people without any such challenges, are quite often comfortably memorized and calmed by aquariums, and quite often enjoy them.
Aquariums are rich opportunities for teaching people about how Ecosystems have to be kept in balance, and what can happen if the pollutants are left unmanaged and cared for. They serve as brilliant small scale models for the greater ecological and climate changes we might be facing in the future, and do a lot to educate in this regards. In fact, it was after I started keeping an marine aquarium that my attitude and ideas about our environment really began to change.
There are many ways to organizationally realize this. The method I would prefer is the one I am already a little bit familiar with in the Computer Security community, a concept known as HackerSpaces. But I’m open to other models of operation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Except I would call it the AquariumSpace or ZeeheldenSpace (which fits super nicely, I think) or something similarly.
I would be happy to volunteer to help figure some of that out, of course. My experience qualifications include being a marine coral reef aquarium owner since 1992, I have approx 10 “tanks” at this moment, and have long practiced “sustainable aquarium keeping on a budget”.