I’ve recently had the pleasure of visiting the serine Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) in New York City. Once we made it to the garden (we drove ourselves into the city for the first time….SCARY!) I could immediately tell that I was about to fall in love. This breathtaking 52 acre garden is a wonderful sanctuary tucked right in the hustle and bustle of NYC. I tend to prefer these sorts of environments rather than the big city itself as I can find a little nook to nestle with a book of poetry or scribble down some notes. Wandering down the winding paths surrounded by blooms and chirping birds you almost forget that you are in the city.
“Brooklyn Botanic Garden is an urban botanic garden that connects people to the world of plants, fostering delight and curiosity while inspiring an appreciation and sense of stewardship of the environment.
In the Garden, in its community, and well beyond, BBG inspires people of all ages through the conservation, display, and enjoyment of plants; with educational programs that emphasize learning by doing; and with research focused on understanding and conserving regional plants and plant communities.” – Brooklyn Botanic Garden Mission Statement
Environmental Sustainability | The Visitor Center
BBG is a leader in environmental movements and their visitor’s Center is a prime example of their commitment to the environment. Designed by the renowned architecture firm Weiss/Manfredi, the Visitor Center has earned LEED Gold certification for environmental sustainability. The earth-sheltered construction has an incredible geoexchange system providing heating and cooling for the building, a living roof, and fritted-glass walls to minimize the number of birds colliding into the glass!
Every detail of this architectural design was thoughtfully chosen making the Visitor Center both visually pleasing to the eye and ecologically sustainable. The way the building itself almost bends and curves to follow the flow of the paths that twist through the gardens is one of the many unique features of this structure. This completely modern structure fits so seamlessly into this deeply rooted garden, est. in 1910 to be exact! Some of the modern ecological features are:
Honestly I was in awe with how well thought out this building is. Not only is it ecologically sustainable, but it is absolutely stunning. It is a wonderful addition to the gardens.
Meandering through this garden could easily take hours. We spent three and a half hours walking around and still didn’t see everything! While I do not have a green thumb (actually, I’ve managed to kill almost every plant I’ve ever owned–cacti included) I can appreciate the amount of work that goes into maintaining these gardens. The thing I like most about this place is that they are open year round, so the foliage is ever changing! Meaning–you can go back again and again and see something new or different! Some of my favorite flowers that were in bloom were the lilacs and cherry blossoms, below are some photos of my favorite spring blooms I came across during my stroll:
While you’re there stop into the Brooklyn Art Museum, entry is by donation (suggested $16) and while we did not have time to go through the museum it looks huge and well worth your time. For lunch I would suggest Tom’s Restaurant est 1936, a long standing diner that is located about three blocks down Washington Ave (easy walk!) from the garden and museum and they serve up amazing sandwiches! I had the Tom’s Wrap which was delicious and their fries are on point! If you are visiting NYC I would definitely recommend taking the subway to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, there is even a subway stop right down the street!