Brooklyn Botanic Garden
One of New York’s most beautiful outdoor places, the garden is located next to the Brooklyn Museum and is right on the edge of Prospect Park. With 52 acres, the garden contains more than 12,000 plant varieties arranged by taxonomic order. Formal and informal gardens flow seamlessly into one another creating an aesthetically engaging unity throughout. The Local Flora Section consists of eight small ecosystems—native to within 100 miles of the garden—each with its unique species of trees, shrubs, wildflowers and mosses.
The Japanese Hill and Pond Garden, constructed in 1914 and recently restored, is one of the finest representations of its kind outside Japan. The Fragrance Garden provides special encounters for visually impaired visitors. The Herb Garden, with its medicinal, culinary, fragrant and ornamental herbs, features a 16th-century Elizabethan-knot design. Hugh Hardy’s Steinhardt Conservatory, completed in 1988, has expanded the garden’s capacity to display plants from around the world. Visitors stroll through desert, tropical rainforest and temperate environments in three attractive pavilions.
The C. V. Starr Bonsai Museum houses a famous collection where orchids and tropical aquatics are exhibited year round. The Trail of Evolution exhibit is a developmental timeline of the natural world over three and a half billion years.
Programs for Seniors
Talks given at senior centers, by request.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers a number of highly popular programs for the community. Preschoolers can drop in on Tuesdays between noon and 3 pm for a free workshop. A few Saturday and Sunday afternoons in the autumn, children ages 4 to 12 can busy themselves with Discovery Programs. Also in the fall, the Children’s Garden welcomes youngsters ages 4 to 12 for numerous age appropriate classes.
Kids will reap the rewards of bountiful harvests from the summer in addition to planting cool-season crops and preparing the garden for winter. Each year, approximately 250 children continue the tradition of preparing, planting, maintaining, weeding and harvesting their own plots over the course of three sessions. Youngsters ages 3 to 6, 7 to 12 and 13 to 17 participate in separate, age-appropriate programs.
From guided tours to an intensive in-school plant study program, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers a variety of opportunities to cultivate students’ green thumbs and appreciation of nature. School groups are welcome in the garden at any time for self-guided visits; previsit materials are available. Programs include:
Hour-long guided tours, which can highlight any particular area of interest.
Garden Explorations, which combine a guided exploration of the grounds or conservatory with a planting activity.
School Workshops, which encompass a wide range of topics designed for different age groups, from examining seeds and bulbs to exploring the plants of different geographic regions.
Project Green Reach, a multi-tiered plant science education program that promotes community gardens and involves teacher training, a site visit by botanic garden staff and an excursion to the garden. Students propagate plants and install them in a community location.
The garden’s Teacher Education Workshops offer teachers the opportunity to earn New York City Deparment of Education-approved, graduate-level credit for grades PreK to 12. For more information, call (718) 623-7381.