Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Morris Arboretum Interns visit Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

Last week, the Morris Arboretum Interns, led by Director Paul Meyer, got the chance to take a "behind the scenes tour" with Brooklyn Botanic Garden's president, Scot Medbury.
President Scot Medbury welcoming the Morris Arboretum Interns

Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG), bordered by Prospect Park, is unique in that it is one of the few green spaces in a highly populated, very urban Brooklyn.  We learned that if Brooklyn were not part of New York City, it would be the fifth most populated city in the United States. BBG is a beautiful garden, about half the size of Morris Arboretum and is closely integrated with the surrounding community in a number of different programs from GreenBridge, the community environmental horticulture program, to working with nearby schools.

We learned a little bit about some of the research being done in the labs at BBG from Susan Pell, Ph.D, director of Science at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She told us about the New York Metropolitan Flora project (NYMF), a multi-year effort to document the flora in all counties within a 50-mile radius of New York City. We were also able to visit Paul Harwood at the herbarium, learn about collecting and look at type specimens.
Type specimen from herbarium

BBG also has a very engaged educational department.  They partner with nearby community schools, bringing students into the Discovery Gardens and educational greenhouse, pictured below, for classes.  We were fond of the hydrolic table that would raise and lower according to the height of participants from small children to adults.

We were thrilled to see that Brooklyn Botanic Garden has a sculpture by Patrick Dougherty, called "Natural History".  Morris Arboretum also had a much loved sculpture by Patrick Dougherty, called Summer Palace, that was constructed in April 2009 but was recently dismantled.

Thanks to Brooklyn Botanic Garden for a great visit. Here are a few more pictures:








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