A New Discovery Garden
The expanded Discovery Garden is part of BBG's Campaign for the Next Century.
Kids of all ages can explore habitats, uncover plant mysteries, and learn about garden wildlife at fun, hands-on exhibits throughout the Discovery Garden.
Designed by the award-winning firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, BBG’s new and expanded Discovery Garden offers exciting exhibits and activities for the next generation of naturalists. This immersive landscape—created especially for the Garden’s youngest visitors—encourages children to explore nature through hands-on experiences as they investigate plants and animals in a meadow, marsh, woodland, fruit and vegetable garden, and four seasons garden.
Plant & Activity Highlights
Winding, intimate paths through tall meadow grasses and flowers create the impression of immersion in a wild ecosystem. Native plantings that attract butterflies, bees, moths, and hummingbirds also lend themselves to a focus on plant-pollinator relationships.
The largest area in the new Discovery Garden, the woodland includes both deciduous and evergreen forest environments. Raised boardwalks and platforms allow children to explore the habitat from a variety of vantage points.
Young naturalists follow a circuit of split logs and boulders surrounding this rich environment populated with species that have adapted to living in or near water.
Hamm Children’s Learning Courtyard
This gardening area is dedicated to the cultivation of flowers, fruits, and vegetables and offers visitors hands-on scientific encounters with the natural world as they sow, tend, and harvest plants that relate to their own lives.
School and Camp Group Visits to the Discovery Garden
Students make their own nature discoveries and sharpen science skills as they explore the garden’s habitats and visit interactive exhibits. There is plenty to touch, smell, and investigate in this hands-on garden. During the winter season, group visits to the Discovery Garden are first come, first served, no preregistration needed.
Before your visit, download the Discovery Garden Visit Guide (pdf).
Curator Jenny Blackwell
Jenny Blackwell is curator of the Discovery Garden and plantings at the south end of Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Originally from Minnesota, Jenny didn’t really get bitten by the horticulture bug until she moved to New York City in 2005. After working as an intern at BBG and receiving a Certificate in Horticulture in 2008, she gardened with the compost tea masters at Battery Park City Parks Conservancy before serving as project manager for BBG’s NYC Compost Project for five years. She joined BBG’s Horticulture staff in 2014. Jenny is passionate about ecology and soil, and her favorite ecosystem in the Discovery Garden is the meadow.