Garden News Blog

Discovery Garden Sneak Peek

Enjoy a preview of BBG’s new Discovery Garden, which opens Saturday! The kid-friendly garden, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the firm that designed Brooklyn Bridge Park, includes woodland, marsh, and meadow habitats inspired by local native flora, as well as a fruit and vegetable garden and a four seasons garden.

The one-acre garden is nearly four times the size of the previous Discovery Garden, and its winding paths make it feel even bigger, says Discovery Garden and family program manager Ashley Gamell.


Scavenger hunts and activity stations are placed throughout the garden to encourage kids to look at the world as young naturalists. At this table, kids can scoop up and examine leaf litter to look for insects and other decomposers. The station includes a magnifying glass and a guide to help identify critters by their shape.


The insect hotel is already attracting native bees. Look for more beneficial insects, like ladybugs, other bee species, moths, and praying mantises to take up residence soon. The patterned arrangements of wood are not only beautiful but also practical, designed to attract particular species. “We noticed that praying mantises were laying eggs between the slats of the benches in the Native Flora Garden, so you’ll see there's one section here that mimics those slats,” says Gamell.


In the fruit and vegetable garden, young visitors will be able to plant and harvest crops like basil and tomatoes with the help of docents. They can also help water plants and turn the compost in scaled-down bins.


Kids will be encouraged to use all their senses in the four seasons garden.


From the nestlike viewing platform, kids can get a bird's-eye view of their surroundings and build a nest of their own.


And that's just for starters. Be sure to come explore the whole garden soon!

Sarah Schmidt edits BBG's editorial content, including the blog, how-to articles, and the Guides for a Greener Planet handbook series.

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Image, top of page:
Discovery Garden
Photo by Sarah Schmidt
New Discovery Garden
Photo by Lee Patrick.
Discovery Garden
Photo by Sarah Schmidt
Discovery Garden
Photo by Sarah Schmidt
Discovery Garden
Photo by Sarah Schmidt
New Discovery Garden
Photo by Lee Patrick.