Thain Family Forest

Year Round

The Thain Family Forest is the largest remaining tract of original forest that once covered most of New York City.

Check back this fall to see the progress of our Foliage Tracker!

What is a Native Forest?

When you visit the Forest, you will walk along Native American hunting trails, see marks left by glaciers, and pass under trees dating back to the American Revolution.

In 1895, founding director Nathaniel Lord Britton selected 250 acres, including the Forest as the site for The New York Botanical Garden. Britton determined the northern end of Bronx Park suitable as the location for the Botanical Garden “for the reasons that it combines all the desirable elements of ready accessibility, rich and varied soil, grand natural scenery, [and] dense natural forest...”

For thousands of years, this old-growth Forest has changed, adapted and survived. Today the Forest remains a magnificent reminder of the beauty and resilience of nature in the face of complex human-caused disturbances. Research has shown that over the past century pollution, soil compaction, and the introduction of invasive plants, pests, and diseases have all impacted the health of the Forest. To preserve the Forest for future generations the Garden manages invasive species, plants native plants, and performs research. As you explore and learn more about the Forest, you will discover the diversity of life and the importance of Forests.


The Forest in the News
The New York Times; City Room blog, August 24, 2011: The City Stirs | The Bronx, 5:52 A.M.
The New York Times; City Room blog, March 23, 2011:Returning Chestnut Trees to City Where Blight Was First Found
The Hunts Point Express, March 2, 2011: Building a Boat From History
The New York Times, February 17, 2011: Winter Bird-Watching in New York
New York Magazine, February 9, 2011: Daily Intel: Oliver Sacks
The Wall Street Journal; Metropolis blog, December 13, 2010: Odd Jobs: Urban Tree- Climbing Professional
The New York Times, November 4, 2010: In New York City Parks, a Fall-Color Tour
The New York Sun, October 7, 2010: Rediscovering the Natural Side of the Bronx
The New York Times, June 30, 2010: Q&A: Ivan Braun, Who Turns Felled Trees Into Bowls
The New York Times, April 28, 2010: Off Patrol and High in the Tree
The New York Times, June 16, 2008: The Forest Premeditated: Illusions of Wildness in a Botanical Garden
The Forest on YouTube
August 18, 2011: Bronx River Cleanup with the Bronx River Alliance
June 3, 2011: Birding at The New York Botanical Garden
January 4, 2011: The New York Botanical Garden . . . Since 1891
November 30, 2010: Counting Salamanders in the Forest
January 28, 2010: Diversity in Bark
October 8, 2009: Fall Foliage
August 29, 2008: Invasive Tree Removal
July 29, 2008: The Waterfalls of The New York Botanical Garden
The Forest on Plant Talk
September 12-16, 2011: Series: What A Citizen Scientist Phenologist Does
July 15, 2011: Interns at the Garden: Counting Bees, Fighting Invasive Plants
April 12, 2011: NYBG at the NENHC
March 25, 2011: Please Give a Hoot
March 21, 2011: Owl Chicks in the Forest
February 15, 2011: A Bronx Red-Tail
February 2, 2011: 2011: The Year of Forests
January 25, 2011: Looking for Eastern Screech-Owls at the Garden
January 6, 2011: Justin and José Were Here
December 22, 2010: When a Tree Falls in the Forest
November 12, 2010: Science in the Forest: Salamanders
September 29, 2010: José the Bronx River Beaver Seen at Garden
September 1, 2010: Garden Bird Walk Leader Celebrates 25 Years
April 29, 2010: Special Trees to See at the Garden
March 24, 2010: Garden Loses 50 Trees in Storm; Cleanup Continues
January 20, 2010: Nighttime Prowls Turn Up Plenty of Insects
September 3, 2008: Listening to the Trees
The Forest on Flickr
A Forest Walk
The Bronx River