Children’s Garden

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 aged 2 to 17 can plant their own crops and flowers and harvest them under the guidance of garden instructors. Younger children combine planting, tending, and harvesting with craftmaking 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

  • The visitors center in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

    City Farmers

    In BBG’s classic Children’s Garden program, kids ages 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 ›

  • child measures a pine cone

    Trees and Saplings

    BBG’s youngest gardeners, just two to three 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 ›

  • young girl in vegetable garden


    Kids of pre-k and kindergarten age work together in small groups to care for their garden plots and participate in cooking, exploring the wonderful outdoors, crafting, and other fun activities in this seasonal drop-off program. Learn More ›

  • boy looks at a leaf in a vial

    Nature Explorers, Summer Science Adventurers, and Field Investigators

    During these summer programs, kids ages 7 to 12 explore the wide world of plants with hands-on investigations, planting projects, nature walks, and other science-based activities.

  • boy holds up an insect

    Junior Botanists and Plant Investigators

    Students ages 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.

  • girl collects data on plants

    Garden Apprentices

    Teens accepted into the nine-month GAP program learn about botany, horticulture, urban farming, and environmental education methods as they also develop job skills including teamwork, mentoring, and communication. Learn More ›

  • boy and girl harvest vegetables

    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 ›

  • young woman chops vegetables with small children

    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 a 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.

See Historical Photos of the Children's Garden ›

Read About the Children's Garden History ›

The Children's Garden, Photo by Alexandra Muller.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden received a 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, presented by First Lady Michelle Obama at an event in the White House on May 8. Accepting the medal on behalf of Brooklyn Botanic Garden were BBG president Scot Medbury and Chidi Duke, an instructor and alumnus of BBG’s renowned Children’s Garden program. Photo courtesy of IMLS.
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