Bidding Farewell to Scot Medbury - Brooklyn Botanic Garden

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Bidding Farewell to Scot Medbury

Bidding Farewell to Scot Medbury

Brooklyn Botanic Garden says goodbye to outgoing president Scot Medbury this week.

Medbury leaves after 14 years. When he took the role of BBG’s sixth president in 2005, the board of trustees had just drafted a major plan to expand and improve the 100-year-old site for the century to come. Over the years Medbury shaped and implemented the plan, bringing his design sensibility and experience as a plantsman to the original vision.

Cutting the ribbon to celebrate the completion of the Water Conservation Project. Photo by Julienne Schaer.

With Medbury as president, the Garden added, expanded, or renovated six specialty gardens, built a new LEED-Gold-certified Visitor Center, redesigned all three entrances, and completed an innovative water conservation project using the Garden’s ponds and brook to help mitigate flooding in the city’s storm overflow system. Medbury led the campaign to raise $124 million for these projects, and under his stewardship, annual revenue has grown and the endowment more than doubled.

Medbury with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, BBG Board of Trustees chair Frederick Bland, and architect Marion Weiss at the opening of the Visitor Center in 2012. Photo by Shaun Mader.

“With Scot at the helm, we left virtually no area of this beloved 52-acre oasis untouched,” said Frederick Bland, chair emeritus of the board of trustees. “As a result, the Garden is more beautiful, accessible, and thoughtful than ever.”

Education and community-based greening programs have also expanded under Medbury, and attendance has grown from 625,000 to nearly 1 million visitors a year.

At the White House with Children‘s Garden instructor Chidi Duke accepting the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from First Lady Michelle Obama. Photo courtesy of IMLS.

Before arriving at BBG, Medbury had been director of San Francisco Botanical Garden and Conservatory of Flowers where he had overseen a major renovation. He now heads back to California to assume the directorship of the Quarry Hill Botanical Garden in Sonoma.

“It has been the adventure of a lifetime to serve as Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s president, and I will always cherish the extraordinary beauty of this place, and the passion and commitment of its community,” said Medbury.

Sarah Schmidt is a former editor of BBG's digital editorial content and the Guides for a Greener Planet handbook series.

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Image, top of page: Blanca Beggert