Founded over a century ago in 1910, Brooklyn Botanic Garden is comprised of 52 acres and is one of the United State’s first public gardens.
At the time of its opening, the city of New York and its boroughs were in a swift state of development. The creation of a public garden was one way to keep the city’s greenery alive and in preservation.
While the garden was founded in 1910 it didn’t open to the public until May of the following year. Helmed by botanist Charles Stuart Granger, the BBG’s first garden was meant to display and preserve native plants.
As part of their mission, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden cultivates the conservation of plants by bringing in a variety of educational programs that focus on active or hands-on learning. The BBGs focus on education began in 1914 with a Children’s Garden program in which kids were brought in to grow their own vegetable gardens.
In 2003 a public high school called Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment was opened near the garden. The school focuses on a project-based science curriculum and it’s students use the BBG as a source for research opportunities.
There is no shortage of learning or amusement at the BBG. Guided tours are available throughout the year and visitors are welcome to sit on the lawn in the Cherry Esplanade.
The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden opened to the public in 1915 and is one of the oldest Japanese gardens outside of Japan. Keeping in line with the traditional gardens of Japan that are meant to mirror nature, it features artificial hills surrounded by a pond, a waterfall and Shinto shrine. More than two dozen Cherry Blossoms are planted in this garden making it a beautiful site to explore if visiting during Cherry Blossom season in April and May.
Other popular gardens include Celebrity Path, which is located across from the Shakespeare Garden and involves stones that are inscribed with the names of famous Brooklyn residents including everyone from Rita Hayworth to Barbara Streisand and Walt Whitman.
Whether on a date or enjoying the garden with family and friends there are numerous paths to explore, nooks and crannies to get lost in, and beauty to appreciate.