Since 1914, children have been growing flowers, vegetables, and herbs and learning firsthand about the natural world in Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Children’s Garden. With a focus on greening the urban environment through education, sustainable practices, and stewardship, BBG encourages young people to be participants, not just spectators, in community horticulture and conservation.
Here, children 2 to 17 years old can plant their own crops and flowers and harvest them under the guidance of garden instructors. Younger children combine planting, tending, and harvesting with craft making and creative play. For older children, lessons in science and urban ecology accompany the gardening, and teenagers who successfully complete the program can go on to become junior instructors. Over a thousand youngsters now garden in the Children's Garden every year.
In the Children’s Garden and Beyond
In BBG’s classic Children’s Garden program, kids aged 6 to 13 develop basic horticulture and botany skills as they bring garden plots to life with seasonal fruits and vegetables and enjoy crafting, cooking, nature exploration, and other hands-on activities. Learn More ›
Trees and Saplings
BBG’s youngest gardeners, 2 to 3 years old, work with adult partners to go on scavenger hunts, harvest in the Garden, sing songs, taste new foods, and create nature crafts. Learn More ›
Kids of pre-k and kindergarten age work together in small groups to care for their garden plots and participate in cooking, exploring the outdoors, crafting, and other fun activities in this seasonal drop-off program. Learn More ›
Nature Explorers, Summer Science Adventurers, and Field Investigators
During these summer programs, kids aged 7 to 12 explore the wide world of plants with hands-on investigations, planting projects, nature walks, and other science-based activities. Learn More ›
Junior Botanists and Plant Investigators
Students aged 9 to 13 can be nominated by teachers in the school-based Project Green Reach program to participate in this science-focused, full-scholarship summer program. Learn More ›
Teens accepted into the 9-month GAP program learn about botany, horticulture, urban farming, and environmental education methods as they also develop job skills like teamwork, mentoring, and communication. Learn More ›
BASE Garden Crew
High school students grow and harvest vegetables as part of this extracurricular club. Their produce is prepared and served in the school’s cafeteria at celebratory Harvest Lunch events. Learn More ›
Program Assistants and Instructors
Alumni of the Children’s Garden often stay connected while furthering their professional development in these seasonal positions for emerging educators.
National Medal Award
In 2014, Brooklyn Botanic Garden was awarded a National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Recognizing outstanding service to the community, the honor was presented on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Children's Garden, the first program of its kind in an American botanic garden. Today, BBG's Children's Garden remains a vital community resource, emblematic of the Garden's impact on generations of Brooklyn families and continued commitment to increasing environmental awareness.