The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants, an educational institution, and a scientific research organization. Founded in 1891 & now a National Historic Landmark, it is one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world. http://www.nybg.org/
It’s been a steamy, sweltering week and the flowers that love this weather have welcomed it back with open petals. This is also prime time for ornamental alliums and the beginning of the poppies (my personal favorite) in the Perennial Garden, and foxgloves along the Seasonal Walk.
But the real stars of this week have nothing to do with flowers: This week is all about leaves, and shade. Step into the 50-acre Thain Family Forest and the ambient temperature drops by several degrees. The sounds of the city fall away. Head for the Canoe Portage (marked by signs) and pull up a rock to sit alongside New York City’s only freshwater river for a spot. I guarantee you’ll feel more relaxed, and decidedly cooler, after about 10 minutes.
Or at least come to a close-as-possible estimate, anyway. With deforestation still a significant threat to the world’s largest rain forest (despite a major reported drop in cutting since 2004), Brazil is making further moves to step up and take action. But to start, they need to know what’s there to protect.
Over the next four years, teams will be sent throughout the Brazilian wilderness (which encompasses 60% of the Amazon), recording the trees present at 20,000 different sites. That includes species IDs, population, height, diameter, soil composition and more. Not exactly a small-time undertaking.
With perseverance, Brazil is hoping to bump down deforestation by at least 80% of 2004 levels in an attempt to stave off the end of one of nature’s great accomplishments. Click through for more. —MN
That’s not a hyper-realistic build of Minecraft you’re looking at. Rather, it’s the creative vision of Javier Riera, an artist who uses powerful projectors to overlay natural landscapes with geometric shapes—just long enough to photograph them.
I’d love to see what he could do in the Garden’s 50-acre Forest, though I suspect the wildlife would be less than happy with the high-powered spotlights. Click through for more; his work is spatially disorienting in the best of ways. —MN
Honored to be included in this group! I think stillspotting:bronx sounds completely awesome, so why not come visit NYBG after and do some stillspotting on your own in our 50-acre Forest? It’s the ideal spot to rest, relax, and rejuvenate! ~AR
While we know stillspotting:bronx is more than enough reason to head up to New York’s northernmost borough, there’s so much more in the Bronx that you should see! To help those of you that can’t make it to stillspotting Bronx Art Adventure, or for those that want to explore the Bronx on your own, we’ve put together a top 10 list of things you shouldn’t miss!
For details and tickets to the stillspotting Bronx Art Adventure visit: “The Guggenheim and Hyperallergic Present: stillspotting Bronx Art Adventure.” Please note: Tickets to Bronx Art Adventure are limited and have to be purchased by Friday, October 12 at 5pm. (via Go for stillspotting but Stay for the Bronx: 10 Great Things to See)
This one’s important because it tackles not only the rules of the road for the care of Central Park, but so many natural environments around New York and elsewhere. It’s no easy task keeping these landscapes safe, clean, and healthy. And that includes the NYBG’s 50-acre Forest.
President Charles A. Birnbaum of the Cultural Landscape Foundation, with input from our very own VP of Horticulture, Todd Forrest, does a wonderful job of explaining how the ride-on mower guy you see taking care of the Great Lawn is only the tip of an enormous iceberg. You’ll also want to take a look at the links near the bottom of the piece, where Charles discusses the much-anticipated Central Park Woodlands conference coming October 5; it’s an opportunity to hear from heads of some of the nation’s top urban forests. —MN
For Big Green Week in the U.K.’s city of Bristol, the lack of dense forests to be found in the urban landscape inspired a simple fix. Maybe it wouldn’t be a medieval forest, per se, but there would be trees.
Local residents came together to build their own Sherwood, of a sort, planting young trees in a few dozen shopping carts-gone-planters and arranging them around the city, complete with seating to enjoy the scenery. And while no one was gathering under the boughs for respite from falling rain, the mobile parade of young greenery supplied just enough charm to warm the urban landscape. Clever, Bristol; very clever. —MN
Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that often kills or severely damages the trees upon which it grows. So, removing it is a good thing, right? Read the Economist’s take on a study done in Australia to learn the surprising conclusion. ~AR
The Japanese term Shinrin-yoku may literally mean “forest bathing,” but it doesn’t involve soaking in a tub among the trees. Rather it refers to spending time in the woods for its therapeutic (or bathing) effect. Most of us have felt tension slip away in the midst of trees and nature’s beauty. But science now confirms its healing influence on the body. When you spend a few hours on a woodland hike or camping by a lake you breathe in phytoncides, active substances released by plants to protect them against insects and from rotting, which appear to lower blood pressure and stress and boost your immune system.
Last November’s reopening of the NYBG Forest brought with it an exploration of verse as it relates to the experience of nature—“a call to become more attentive and active” in the world around us, wrote Jon Cotner.
In order to create a sense of immersion within the surroundings, Jon’s literary architecture provided visitors with a set of fifteen carefully-selected lines of poetry pulled from the archives of a 2,500-year tradition. Each one encouraged guests to read them at pivotal points along the Forest’s trails:
“The overwhelming message was that the poetic lines encouraged everyone to slow down, to see and sense more clearly, to inhabit the present more deeply, and to fill with enchantment.”
See Jon’s write-up on the blog of the BMW Guggenheim Lab for photographs of the locations in question, along with the timeless verse that helped the NYBG’s visitors experience the tranquility of our 50-acre wood. Then come and wander the space for yourself. —MN