Public transportation: Metro-North Harlem local line to Botanical Garden Station, proceed across Southern Boulevard to Garden’s Mosholu Gate entrance; or B, D, or 4 train to Bedford Park Blvd Station and transfer to the Bx26 bus east to Mosholu Gate entrance, or walk 8 blocks on Bedford Park Boulevard, turn left on Southern Boulevard and walk 1 block to Mosholu Gate entrance.
Car: detailed directions on the NYBG website – http://www.nybg.org/visit/directions.php
Admission fees, hours, and other information: http://www.nybg.org/plan_your_visit/
Considered a crown jewel of the Bronx, New York Botanical Garden’s accolades go far beyond its home borough to receive praise around the city and in the public gardens world. With 250 acres, NYBG is a fine location to enjoy local flora and fauna.
Interspersed with the expected preened and prepared horticultural spaces, NYBG has excellent landscapes such as a native plant garden, ponds and wetlands. But for the nature enthusiast, the old growth forest should not be missed.
Encompassing 40 acres, the forest includes native trees like beech, oak and tulip, with specimens some dating back to the American Revolution. Trails sporting names like Spicebush Trail, Magnolia Way, and Sweet Gum Trail, lure the visitor to a glimpse of what a forest really looks like.
Bird life is abundant and Great-horned Owls have been known to nest in tree snags. A walk through the forest to the Twin Lakes near the Main Building usually offers good sightings of waterfowl, and birders should also stop by the nearby Children’s Garden where birds are exceptionally tame, affording great close-ups of sparrows, chickadees and woodpeckers.
The Bronx River — the only freshwater river in New York City — runs along the forest and is a favorite “gnawing spot” of beavers — watch for their handiwork near the riverbank.
Created in 1891 by an act of New York State’s Legislature, NYBG is a premier botanical research institution, and this tradition continues today. The Garden encourages citizen science through activities as informal as weekly bird walks to as formal as comprehensive education programs. It is also a site for research on a variety of subjects ranging from invasive plant species to urban bats to soil microbes to White-footed Mice.
- New York Botanical Garden accessed on 4/1/2012 at www.nybg.org.
- The New York City Audubon Society Guide to Finding Birds in the Metropolitan Area by Marcia T. Fowle and Paul Kerlinger, published 2001 by Comstock Publishing Associates.
- New York’s 50 Best Places to Go Birding In and Around the Big Apple by John Thaxton, published 1998 by City & Company.
- New York City Trees: A Field Guide for the Metropolitan Area by Edward Sibley Barnard, published 2002 by Columbia University Press.
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