The UCAAT at Zion Urban Farm

In 2020, Zion collaborated with the City of North Las Vegas and Energy Tree to create plans for an urban agriculture center at Zion UMC. By mid 2021, Energy Tree funded development of the center, naming it the Urban Center for Advanced Agricultural Technologies (UCAAT). For this, Energy Tree built a high-tech urban and indoor agricultural research and production lab at the Zion Urban Farm and Zion UMC and Energy Tree formed the Zion Ag Team. By early 2022, the Zion Ag Team was holding community education classes on hydroponics at the UCAAT and developing plans with the City of North Las Vegas for expansion. In December 2022, the City of North Las Vegas received HUD Community Project Funding to expand the UCAAT with increased educational spaces and other facility upgrades. The UCAAT is designed to provide access to high-tech urban agriculture resources and education.

Advanced Research at the UCAAT

Advanced Research at the UCAAT

Research activities at the UCAAT have included data collection for varying nutrient solution compositions to promote certain growth characteristics. The team also experiments with growing plants not typically grown hydroponically and monitors factors such as oxygen transfer, temperature, humidity, and more.

Indoor Hydroponics at the UCAAT

Indoor Hydroponics at the UCAAT

Zion Ag Team hydroponics experiments at the UCAAT include researching the effects of light on plant growth. The lab features variable lighting technologies with isolated light spectrums for analyzing how different lighting affects plants at different stages during the growing cycle.

Video: Preliminary Expansion Designs


Video: Hydroponics Research & Training


Video: Cooking with High-Tech Ag


The UCAAT is located at the Zion Urban Farm in the City of North Las Vegas. The farm is in a USDA low-income low-access food desert, situated within a federally-designated opportunity zone, and surrounded by the highest food insecurity areas in Southern Nevada. In addition, the UCAAT is geographically positioned within the Mojave Desert and receives less than five inches of annual rainfall, which is almost 90% less than the national average. This, in combination with poor soil conditions and high summer temperatures, make it difficult for traditional agriculture to succeed in the region. These factors have resulted in about 99% of the valley’s food resources being transported in from hundreds to thousands of miles away. The UCAAT is within an Urban Agriculture Overlay Zone and innovative production methods are encouraged. For these reasons, the UCAAT aims to utilize sustainable methods and emerging technologies to enable fresh produce to thrive close to where it is needed, all while conserving water and natural resources.

UCAAT Partners

Zion Urban Farm
Energy Tree
City of North Las Vegas
Growing Gears
UNR Extension
Culinary Academy of Las Vegas
Nevada Partners
Zion United Methodist Church in North Las Vegas, Nevada