Making Brooklyn Bloom 2023

Making Brooklyn Bloom 2023

Special Events

Saturday, March 11, 2023 | 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Palm House | Free, in-person event

Tapping The Power Of Trees: How The Urban Forest Will Save Cities

Making Brooklyn Bloom

The 41st annual Making Brooklyn Bloom conference celebrates the Garden’s year-long focus on urban trees. By improving air quality and reducing stormwater runoff, giving us shade on sunny days, and providing wildlife habitat, trees play an undeniable role in mitigating climate change.

The day’s workshops, tours, and keynote address will inspire the equity, advocacy, and care needed to lead us into a more forested future. Visitors will have the opportunity to network with NYC greening organizations in the Palm House.

Arrive early—spots for workshops and the keynote address fill quickly. Garden admission is free for attendees.

Reserve Free Admission

Walk ups also welcome! Note: Admission does not guarantee space in Making Brooklyn Bloom events. Keynote and workshop registration begins at 10 a.m. in the Palm House, first come, first served. You must be present to register.

Email [email protected] by February 21, 2023 to request ASL interpretation. Visit for more information.

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Wilbur A. Levin Keynote Address

Deeply Rooted: Traditional Knowledge, Equity, and a New Era in Urban Forestry

Dr. Vivek Shandas, Professor of Climate Adaptation, Portland State University

Man with black and gray hair smiling

“Can urban greening projects address historic injustices, respond to community aspirations, and draw on traditional ecological knowledge? The recent convergence of climate change, racial reckoning, and economic inequities have awakened many to a new era in which urban forests are seen as a central solution. Yet, we need a new framework to help us avoid the pitfalls of both communities without trees and trees without communities.”

Workshops, Talks & Tours

Register on arrival to secure a spot in the morning and afternoon programs of your choosing. Arrive early to get your first choices, space permitting. Due to limited availability, you must be present to receive a workshop ticket at registration.

Workshops repeat at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. There is a different talk in the morning and the afternoon.

Auditorium Talks

ASL interpretation will be available for all talks.

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11 a.m.–12 p.m.

Speak for the Trees: 30x35

Emily Nobel Maxwell, The Nature Conservancy
What is the state of the urban forest in New York City? How can community groups and property owners work with government to expand our local urban forest for the benefit of all? Achieving at least 30% tree canopy cover in NYC by 2035 means increasing equity, building community, adapting to extreme weather, and reducing temperatures in the most heat vulnerable neighborhoods. Learn about the NYC Urban Forest Agenda and how you can get involved.

1:30–2:45 p.m.

Deeply Rooted: Traditional Knowledge, Equity, and a New Era in Urban Forestry

Dr. Vivek Shandas, Professor of Climate Adaptation, Portland State University
In the Wilbur A. Levin Keynote Address, Shandas addresses the question, Can urban greening projects address historic injustices, respond to community aspirations, and draw on traditional ecological knowledge?

3–4 p.m.

Protecting the Health of the Urban Forest

Rowan Blaik, Vice President of Horticulture, Brooklyn Botanic Garden
One frequent visitor question is: How does BBG care for and protect its trees? Hear from a plant and tree expert whose work is dedicated to monitoring and guarding the Garden’s arboreal treasures. Learn lessons you can take back to the treasured trees in your life.

Classroom Workshops

Each workshop runs twice, 11 a.m.–12 p.m. & 3–4 p.m.

Bees, Trees, and Beans: Stories of Vanilla’s Ecological Interdependence

Lily Pool Room
Maya Marie S., Deep Routes
Vanilla has long been prized for its floral, sweet yet smoky smell and taste. But do you know about vanilla’s origins and the complex, interdependent relationships that make its existence possible? Learn vanilla’s botanical wonders while making vanilla extract and reflecting on our relationship with this beloved spice.

Beginning With a Seed

Classroom 123
Joanne D’Auria, HortAbility
A great workshop for beginning gardeners! Learn the basics of seed types and life cycles. How do gardeners coax the most out of seeds and how does seed-starting compare to other forms of propagation? You’ll start some seeds for your garden or windowsill.

Street Tree Stewardship—Lessons from the Greenest Block

Classroom 236
Perri Edwards, Althea Joseph, Jaime Joyeaux, and Lauren Wilson, Preserving Lincoln’s Abundant Natural Treasures (P.L.A.N.T.s)
The gardeners of P.L.A.N.T.s—two-time winners of BBG’s Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest—will share their insights and expertise on the preservation our tree neighbors need. Learn street tree care basics and how to use a love of trees to organize, motivate, and inspire connections on your block.

What Does Racial Equity Have to Do with Street Trees?

Classroom 238
Brandon Otis and Suzy Myers Jackson, Brooklyn Urban Gardeners
Caring for trees can be a liberating act of service and learning. The legacy of redlining means less tree canopy and more pavement in historically Black neighborhoods, which has negative financial, environmental, and health impacts for residents. Get inspired to advocate for more trees in your neighborhood and beyond.

Worm Composting at Home

Classroom 125
Teddy Tedesco, NYC Compost Project Hosted by BBG
Compost happens—even in your tiny apartment! Learn how to harness the power of red worms to convert your kitchen scraps into black gold, no matter where you live.

Special Tours

Join an indoor or outdoor tour with one of our Garden Guides.

11–11:30 a.m.

Trees of Little Caribbean in the Conservatory

Garden Guide Jennifer Napoli
Visit the Entry House, Aquatic House, and Tropical Pavilion and learn more about native Caribbean trees like guava and allspice as well as plants from across the globe that have thrived there since colonization. This tour is 30 minutes.

11 a.m.–12 p.m. Outdoors

Native Trees on the Garden Grounds

Garden Guide Katherine Patton
What makes a tree “native” to Brooklyn? Why are native trees, and the relationships all around them, so special? Learn more while enjoying some early-spring surprises.

3–3:30 p.m.

Bonsai Museum

Garden Guide Kathryn Hodges
Inside a small form, bonsai embody a tree’s vast message of compassion and curiosity for nature. Explore Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s world-class Bonsai Collection, one of the largest on display outside Japan. This tour is 30 minutes.

3–4 p.m. Outdoors

In Your Own Backyard? Tour the Woodland Garden and Maple Grove

Garden Guide Kit Schneider
Two of BBG’s newest additions, Maple Grove and the Elizabeth Scholtz Woodland Garden are delightful and fully accessible outdoor classrooms full of trees and inspiration for urban gardeners looking to improve their own corner of Brooklyn.

Site Map

Click or tap below for full-size map.

Show larger map A simplified map of BBG that shows the Administration Building


10–11 a.m.
Registration and Coffee in the Palm House
Register the day of the event to secure space for workshops and the keynote address.
10 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Palm House Activities
  • View displays from dozens of NYC greening groups.
  • Learn about the Brooklyn Urban Gardener certificate program.
  • Enter your block in the Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest.
Rotunda Activities
  • Pick up free veggie starts and seeds.
  • Visit the Ask a Gardener table for answers to your horticultural questions.
  • Browse the Library.
11 a.m.

Morning Workshops, Talks & Tours: You may choose one morning and one afternoon workshop, space permitting. See descriptions above.

12–1 p.m.
Bring a Bag Lunch Zones

Look for signage in classrooms and the Palm House and on the Conservatory Terrace for areas to sit, eat your lunch, and chat with fellow attendees.

Snacks and lunches are also available for purchase in the Palm House.

1:30–2:45 p.m.

Wilbur A. Levin Keynote Address

“Deeply Rooted: Traditional Knowledge, Equity, and a New Era in Urban Forestry” presented by Dr. Vivek Shandas, professor of climate adaptation, Portland State University

3–4 p.m.
Afternoon Workshops, Talks & Tours

See descriptions above.

4 p.m.
Leave us your feedback and get a token of our thanks!

Questions? Contact [email protected] or call 718-623-7250.

Accommodation can be made for visitors in wheelchairs or with limited mobility. If you need additional accessibility accommodation, please contact us at [email protected] by February 21.


Brooklyn Botanic Garden gratefully acknowledges support for its Community Greening programs from Brooklyn Community Foundation, the Family of Wilbur A. Levin, National Grid, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the NYS Assembly and NYS Senate, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the NYC Department of Sanitation, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, and the NYC Council.

Leadership Support, Community Greening Programs
Logo: NY Culture. Department of Cultural Affairs.

Major Sponsor, Community Greening Programs
Logo: National Grid

Image, top of page: Michael Stewart