Greening Lives: Around the Corner and Around the World

"Botanical gardens are more than places to visit, botanical gardens are treasures."

Margaret Falk
Associate Vice President for Landscape, Gardens, and Living Collections

The beautiful 250-acre oasis in the middle of New York City has been a favorite retreat for New Yorkers and visitors since the 1890s. Margaret and her team always illuminate the beauty and importance of nature in our lives.

"The New York Botanical Garden's Native Forest is the largest remnant old- growth forest left in New York City today."

Jessica Arcate-Schuler
Manager of the Forest

This 50-acre tract is a worldwide resource for those interested in studying the impacts of an urban environment and the changing climate on forested ecosystems. Jessica is leading staff and volunteers as they work to ensure the Forest remains healthy and resilient in the face of environmental change.

"So many kids don't have a forest in their backyard, don't have wetlands to explore."

Jamie Boyer, Ph.D.
Director of Children’s Education

Educating children about plants and their importance to all life on Earth is the first step in shaping the environmental leaders of the future. The Garden provides a natural classroom where their knowledge of and respect for the plant kingdom is fostered and expanded.

"Green spaces are being seen as part of a comprehensive solution to address economic disparities and to build more sustainable communities."

Ursula Chanse
Director of Bronx Green-Up

Bronx Green-Up has played an important role in creating 300 community gardens and urban farms and training thousands of New Yorkers to garden successfully in those satellite places. Given the environmental sustainability concerns and the obesity epidemic, BGU has been a vital force for improvement of urban sustainability and public health in our community.

"I see people from the really little kids all the way up to the older generations enjoy this space. One flower has the ability to bring smiles to so many people."

Peter Kukielski
Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden Curator

The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden is one of the most diverse of its kind in America, now featuring 3,511 plants of 567 varieties. Peter has transformed the Rose Garden into one of the world’s most environmentally friendly rose gardens, decreasing its chemical dependence and celebrating the addition of more than 1,700 new, hardy disease- and drought-resistant varieties.

"In a time of rapid global change, humankind’s ability to maintain secure and healthy lives in clean environments is increasingly uncertain."

Michael Balick, Ph.D.
Vice President for Botanical Science
Director and Philecology Curator, Institute of Economic Botany

Michael leads the Garden’s Institute of Economic Botany, studying the inextricable relationship between plants and people, lives and cultures. With other scientists and collaborators, he works worldwide to document indigenous plant knowledge, understand the environmental effects of traditional management systems, and develop sustainable use.