The New York Botanical Garden

Address: 2900 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, NY 10458
Phone: 718-817-8700

Mission

The New York Botanical Garden is an advocate for the plant kingdom. The Garden pursues its mission through its role as a museum of living plant collections arranged in gardens and landscapes across its National Historic Landmark site; through its comprehensive education programs in horticulture and plant science; and through the wide-ranging research programs of the International Plant Science Center.

History

Distinguished by the beauty of its landscape, collections, and gardens as well as the scope and excellence of its programs in horticulture, education, and science, The New York Botanical Garden is unique among museums and public places in America. The illustrious history of the Garden began during the 19th-century civic movement in New York City to create a cosmopolitan world capital. City officials, prominent financiers, and corporate citizens created an impressive roster of great cultural institutions, including public libraries, museums, zoos, and this botanical garden.

Inspired by an 1888 visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, near London, eminent Columbia University botanist Nathaniel Lord Britton, and his wife, Elizabeth, also a botanist, determined that New York should have one of the world's great botanical gardens. Upon their return home, they launched a public campaign to establish this institution as a private, non-profit corporation in partnership with New York City and State, and their new botanical garden was chartered by New York State in 1891.

Because of its highly picturesque terrain, the freshwater river in a rock-cut gorge, and 50 acres of old-growth forest, Britton chose this City-owned property as the future home of The New York Botanical Garden in 1895. Calvert Vaux, co-designer of Central Park, laid out the Garden's first schematic design. Many of Vaux's plans, including roadways and paths, are prominent features today. Later the Olmsted Brothers firm developed the roadway and circulation plan, and since those early years many distinguished American landscape and garden designers have contributed significant elements. Many historic landscapes have been restored in recent years.

This has always been a botanical garden with a three-fold mission -  to conduct basic and applied research on the plants of the world with the goal of protecting and preserving them where they live in the wild; to maintain and improve the gardens and collections at the highest horticultural standard; and to use the Garden itself as a venue for teaching the public about plant biology, horticulture, and the natural world generally.

Driven by this mission, the Garden's Board and staff have created one of the world's most comprehensive plant research and conservation programs, which includes fieldwork to discover new species, active collaborations to promote forest and habitat protection, and plant molecular biology. In the course of a century-long effort, the institution has amassed over 7,300,000 plant specimens in the research herbarium, now among the four largest in the world; built the world’s most important research library about plant science and horticulture; continued to steward this important American landscape; and taught millions of visitors to love and respect the world's flora.

Local Calendar

Recent News

  • Holiday Film Screening 2014

    Enjoy some of the most cherished holiday films as they were meant to be seen: on the big screen! Expanding on last year's program, this series will include classic films with train themes as well as traditional holiday fare.Date and time exceptions: December 7 at 1 p.m. and ...

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  • Exhibition - Fall Flowers of Japan

    Autumn’s splendor comes to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory with a constantly changing exhibition highlighting the incredible diversity of fall-flowering plants from Japan. It unfolds with Japanese maples and toad lilies amid sweeps of ferns and ornamental grasses, and conti...

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  • Exhibition - The Haunted Pumpkin Garden

    Pumpkin sculptures of spooky scarecrows, frightening spiders, sneaky snakes, and more designed by artist Michael Natiello await discovery at every turn in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. Youngsters play inside a ''gourd-geous'' Pumpkin House, put on a scary show a...

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  • Exhibiton: Mario Batali's Edible Garden

    The Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden is the new home of Mario Batali's Edible Garden, which debuts this spring to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Family Garden, one of the Garden's great treasures. To launch Mario Batali's Edible Garden, the famous chef was joined by...

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