New York Botanical Garden
All five senses come alive on a stroll through the delightfully rambling 250-acre New York Botanical Garden. Virgin forest, landscaped gardens, wetlands, ponds and undulating hills entice visitors to uncover the secrets of plants and the outdoors. Visitors can experience the colors and fragrances of a dazzling array of flowers, and listen to the rushing Bronx River with its cascading waterfall. Families will enjoy touching, smelling and even tasting myriad plants, such as sweet woodruff and giant pine trees, at the Discovery Carts, or being at one with nature as they dig in the dirt and plant a garden.
The New York Botanical Garden’s greatest treasure is the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, a spectacular soaring crystal palace built in 1902, which reopened in the spring of 1997 after extensive renovation. Modeled after the greenhouses of the Royal Botanic Garden in Kew, England, its 11 glass pavilions house tropical plants, palm trees, desert flora, a fern forest and various seasonal exhibits. Visiting the New York Botanical Garden provides a new appreciation and understanding of the plant world and a sense of tranquility that can only be found in the out-of-doors.
The New York Botanical Garden is one of the world’s great research institutions in botany and the environment, and its international projects are reflected in both its exhibitions and its educational programs.
The Children’s Gardening Program encourages the discovery of natural environments through gardening and nature study activities. Children tend their own plots filled with vegetables, flowers and herbs. Guided by instructors, development of the whole child is emphasized as youngsters garden with a partner in groups of children their own age. Each season has its own special delight and activities. Children may register for the entire program or choose from individual spring, summer or fall sessions. For fees, schedules and more information, call 718-817-8982.
The following family programs are available April through October on Saturdays, Sundays and Monday holidays from 1 to 4 pm. All activities are included with garden admission. For more information on family programs, call (718) 817-8982.
Discovery Carts: Children meet creatures that live in the forest soil, see “tree cookies” and find out why bees, butterflies and bats visit flowers. Stop by the Wetland, Forest, Flower and Insect Discovery Carts to explore nature through hands-on activities.
Family Garden Adventures: Held at the Ruth Rea Howell Family Gardent, this program offers families the opportunity to discover how plants grow as they dig in the dirt; sow seeds; weed; water; and harvest peas, tomatoes, herbs and flowers; and more. Families can make compost, explore the meadow and investigate the pond teeming with plant and animal life. Families also meet Garden Diplomats as they walk through gardens from China, Puerto Rico, Nigeria, Russia and India. Family Garden Adventures is open Wednesdays from 1 to 4 pm, in addition to regular program hours.
Everett Children’s Adventure Garden: Look for this exciting, just-for-kids exhibition nestled on eight acres of meadow and wetlands. It includes four outdoor galleries and an indoor Plant Discovery Center filled with hands-on exhibits. Kids of all ages build giant birds’ nests, prepare plant specimens, hide in mazes, meet playful topiary creatures and see how plants make their food.
Science is an action word in the school programs at the New York Botanical Garden. With 250 acres of native and exotic plants, student groups can discover the wonders of nature up close. Guided tours, self-guided tours, garden adventures and workshops provide hands-on experiences with plants that make learning fun and meet requirements of the New York State Elementary Syllabus for science education. Interactive exploration of plant development and diversity, people and plants, and plants in the environment are fundamental components of the NYBG’s school programs. Fees and times vary. Call 718-817-8748 for more information.
Teacher Enhancement Programs
The New York Botanical Garden offers a variety of workshops for teachers and administrators interested in learning how to use plants and the natural environment to excite and motivate students to participate in science. Programs provide hands-on opportunities for incorporating plant science into the classroom and employ the NYBG’s teaching format. Teacher Enrichment Workshops, Staff Development Seminars and a Summer Institute for Teachers are available. Fees and times vary. Call 718-817-8545 for more information.
The New York Botanical Garden offers a range of opportunities for junior high and high school students to explore plant science and ecology. Students learn through hands-on experience in the classroom and in the field. Internship opportunities are also offered. The Public Programs Internship is a unique work experience for high school students. Interns assist with programs for schoolchildren, interact with visitors and write articles for the public programs newsletter. They also study the natural world and improve communication skills as they share knowledge with others. For more information on adolescent programs, call 718-817-8939.
School Admission: Vary
School Program Location: At facility only