Power of Trees Opening Celebration - Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Power of Trees Opening Celebration

Power of Trees Opening Celebration

Special Events | Power of Trees

Saturday, June 17, 2023 | 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Celebrate the Garden’s 2023 theme, Power of Trees, and our new Branching Out exhibit, produced in collaboration with the BIPOC artist alliance AnkhLave. Check out six site-specific works inspired by the theme of trees as community hosts. Plus, get up close with birds that depend on trees, enjoy some poetry, and join a celebratory parade. And be sure to stop by our tree stewardship area to find tips on how to care for your local street trees.

All programs free with Garden admission.

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  • Tall trees in a field on a sunny day.

    10 a.m.–1 p.m.
    Water Garden

    Tree Stewardship

    Learn more about the benefits of trees and how to take care of them from local organizations and BBG’s Community Greening team.

    • BBG Street Tree Stewardship

      Pick up some pointers on how to spruce up your tree beds while improving the health and resilience of your block’s trees.

    • Crown Heights Keepers

      Meet these community gardeners who plant native plants and grow vegetables to put in community fridges for neighbors to enjoy.

    • Ocean by the Park

      Get to know this tree club whose mission is to look after our trees so that their beauty and the fresh air they generate can be enjoyed by all.

  • A small gray owl named Duncan sits on his handler's gloved hand.

    10 a.m.–1 p.m.
    Oak Circle

    Animal Friends

    Volunteers for Wildlife

    Meet some of the local feathered wildlife that call our city green spaces home! Learn about birds and adaptations that allow them to survive in our urban communities.

    Prospect Park Zoo

    Many animals rely on trees for their survival, but trees rely on animals, too! Prospect Park Zoo volunteers will help you explore the animal-tree connection with props, animal artifacts, and a fun game.

  • Two children interact with a woman with short gray hair, wearing a light green puffer jacket and bee-inspired wings and headband with two antennas that end in two yellow pom-poms.

    10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
    Discovery Garden

    Family Discovery Weekends

    Learn and play together in the Discovery Garden. Hands-on stations throughout the garden’s meadow, woodland, and marsh habitats encourage families to explore nature alongside volunteer docents.

  • Woman with short brown hair and circular earrings poses in front of tree with green leaves.

    11 a.m.–12 p.m.
    Discovery Garden

    Poetry in the Garden: Using Your Senses to Make Rhyme, Rhythm, and Metaphor

    Explore the garden and use your senses and feelings to write poems guided by writer and tree lover Francesca Hyatt. This program is geared to children ages 6–12 (and their caregivers). Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to 20 participants. Sign-up begins at 10 a.m.

  • A group of people standing in from of the Japanese-Hill-and-Pond Garden with torii in the background.

    11 a.m., 12 p.m. & 1 p.m.
    Magnolia Plaza

    Garden Tours

    Discover special trees around the Garden and what’s in bloom on these guided tours. All tours meet on Magnolia Plaza building steps.

    • Power of Trees Tour

      11 a.m.–12 p.m.

      Visit some celebrated trees featured in the Power of Trees exhibit and learn their superpowers!

    • Tree-Human Connection Tour with Georgia Silvera Seamans

      12–1 p.m.

      Get to know more about trees by looking closely, touching, and even smelling them. With a few human stories, we will bring a fourth dimension to trees.

    • Seasonal Highlights Tour

      1–2 p.m.

      Discover BBG’s plants and gardens in peak bloom and other highlights of the season.

  • Man in shorts and sunglasses sits in the last row of outdoor amphitheater.

    11 a.m.–12 p.m.

    Tree Poetry Hour

    Enjoy a poetry reading featuring four distinguished poets, Diane Mehta, Vijay Seshadri, Evie Shockley, and Daniel Tobin, reading from the anthology Tree Lines: 21st Century American Poems and other works that explore and celebrate the need for trees in our lives. Tree Lines, published by Grayson Books, was edited by Jennifer Barber, Jessica Greenbaum, and Fred Marchant.

    Poet Bios
    • Diane Mehta

      Diane Mehta is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection Tiny Extravaganzas; the novel Leaving Malabar Hill, set in India during Partition; and the essay collection Happier Far. Her debut poetry collection is Forest with Castanets. Her work has been recognized by the Peter Heinegg Literary Award, the Café Royal Cultural Foundation, and fellowships at Civitella Ranieri and Yaddo. She publishes poetry, essays, and criticism for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, VQR, American Poetry Review, and A Public Space. She lives in Brooklyn and is starting a series of collaborations with local musicians.

    • Vijay Seshadri

      Vijay Seshadri is the author of five collections of poems: Wild Kingdom, The Long Meadow, The Disappearances, 3 Sections, and That Was Now, This Is Then; and many essays, reviews, and memoir fragments. His work has been recognized with a number of honors, including the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

    • Evie Shockley

      Poet & literary scholar Evie Shockley thinks, creates, and writes with her eye on a Black feminist horizon. Her books of poetry include suddenly we, semiautomatic, and the new black. Her work has twice garnered the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and has appeared internationally. Her honors include the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award, the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the Holmes National Poetry Prize, and the Stephen Henderson Award, and her joys include participating in poetry communities such as Cave Canem and collaborating with like-minded artists working in various media. Shockley is the Zora Neale Hurston distinguished professor of English at Rutgers University.

    • Daniel Tobin

      Daniel Tobin is the author of nine books of poems, including Blood Labors, named one of the Best Poetry Books of the Year by The New York Times. His poetry has won many awards, among them the Julia Ward Howe Award, and fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation. His most recent work is On Serious Earth: Poetry and Transcendence. A trilogy of book-length poems, The Mansions, will appear in 2023.

  • Cutout of green, purple, orange artwork inspired by trees.

    12–1 p.m.
    Plant Family Collection

    Meet the Artists

    Meet the six artists of the Garden’s new Branching Out exhibit, copresented with AnkhLave Artists Alliance.

  • Woman dressed in pink with face makeup and festive accessories during a Carnival festivities.

    1–2 p.m.
    Flatbush Avenue Entrance

    Carnival Parade

    Join in centuries-old traditions of Carnival from around the Caribbean in celebration of Brooklyn’s One Love Little Caribbean Day. Don’t forget your dancing shoes as we chip through the south end of the Garden, culminating with a jump-up! Parade starts at the Flatbush Avenue entrance.

    Presented in partnership with I AM caribBEING.

  • June 17–October 22, 2023
    Conservatory Gallery

    Witness Trees

    Bear witness to the effects of climate change worldwide and explore the trees rooted in these lands through a photography exhibit by local artist Carolyn Monastra.

    Meet the artist! 11 a.m.–12 p.m.

  • Colorful stickers describe actions in response to climate change: I'm going to plant a tree, I'm going to post on social media, etc.

    June 17–October 22, 2023
    Conservatory Gallery

    You Can Make a Difference on Climate

    Take action on the sticker walk in the Climate Museum’s pop-up installation presented in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. This interactive exhibit aims to inspire learning, dialogue and action.


Presenting Sponsor, Power of Trees

Logo: Bloomberg Philanthropies

Art in the Garden is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Logo for New York State Council on the Arts