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Plants & Gardens Blog

Good-bye to the Discovery Garden…for Now

The Discovery Garden is closing for construction at the beginning of October, so be sure to make time for one last visit. This closing will allow the construction of a new, expanded version that will be more than triple the size of the current Discovery Garden, which originally opened in 1996. When it reopens, the new Discovery Garden will include all the things kids love most in the current garden—a variety of habitats to explore, plenty of places where they can dig, build, and collect, and of course, a water pump to experiment with. But there will also be more interactive exhibits, larger and more immersive landscapes, more opportunities to do hands-on gardening, and expanded interpretation and programming, all of which will appeal to children of all ages.

Meanwhile, come bid a fond farewell to the current Discovery Garden, where monarch butterflies have just arrived for a visit as they migrate south. Monarchs have been more scarce than ever this year due to habitat loss and changing weather patterns, but they have finally made an appearance at BBG. This is also a good moment to take in the fall flowers in the Discovery Garden’s meadow—goldenrod and native sunflowers are blooming in every bed. Tiny, bright yellow American goldfinches, also in the midst of their fall migration, have been spotted nearby as well. In the woodland area, the ear-leaved umbrella tree is marking the arrival of autumn as its football-sized leaves start to blanket the ground.

Over the years, many families have made the Discovery Garden their special place—a beloved oasis in the city where they can connect with the natural world. As coordinator, I have been privileged to witness many incredible moments as our youngest nature lovers took their first steps and dug their first worms here. Once an engrossed young visitor confided in me, “I want to stay here forever.” Now, we embark on the next leg of our mission to help children find their inner scientists and explorers. We can’t wait to open a new garden for the community that will provide even more magical nooks and natural wonders to discover, one that we hope will become your special place very soon. In the meantime, children are invited to participate in hands-on exploration at our free Discovery Programs, located in the Fragrance Garden and elsewhere at BBG for the duration of the closure.

Help BBG prepare for the new Discovery Garden by answering just a few questions.

Ashley Gamell is a freelance writer and consultant. After a decade on staff at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, she now pens her posts from the Hudson Valley.

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