Sep. 28, 2023 By Rachel Butler
Queens Council Member Sandra Ung and Speaker Adrienne Adams announced on Sept. 22 an allocation of over $1.4 million by the City Council to fund a new Welcome Gardens and a Sustainability Education Quad at Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing.
The total funding allocation of $1.425 million will be used for phase one of a project that includes a master plan to develop and expand Queens Botanical Garden (QBG). It will enhance the institution’s mission to celebrate and connect people, plants and cultures through inspiring gardens, innovative educational programs and demonstrations of environmental stewardship.
“Queens Botanical Garden is a respite in the heart of Flushing enjoyed by families and senior citizens, drawing over 300,000 visitors from across Queens every year,” Ung said. “This funding from the City Council will reimagine this cultural institution by creating new gardens for the public to enjoy and an education space that will support QBG’s programs and workforce development initiatives. I want to thank NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams for her leadership in the City Council, and for making sure communities outside of Manhattan get the resources they need and deserve.”
Adams echoed Ung’s thoughts, adding that public green spaces are very important to New Yorkers as they provide a place for people to come together.
“The council is proud to further the legacy of the Queens Botanical Garden with over $1.4 million in capital funding to create the new Welcome Gardens and Sustainability Education Quad, which sits in a section of the Garden that was previously off limits to the public,” said Adrienne Adams. “Through the council’s budget investments, more visitors will have access to this vital green space, which will also serve Queens with educational programming.”
Adams also thanked Ung for her leadership in delivering what Queens residents needed and added that she looks forward to their continued work to expand access to more open green spaces in Queens.
The Sustainability Education Quad will include almost 18,000 square feet of space for organic and sustainable horticulture education, while also providing dedicated areas for waste collection and compost processing.
There will be 5,500 square feet to support public education and workforce development programs focused on green jobs, sustainability and horticulture, as well as the Garden’s youth internship initiatives.
“We want to thank Speaker Adams, Council Member Sandra Ung, and the entire New York City Council for recognizing the important role that Queens Botanical Garden plays as an environmental sustainability innovator and as an inclusive space for everyone to enjoy nature, develop their skills and promote community building,” said Evie Hantzopoulos, executive director of Queens Botanical Garden. “Through this generous capital funding, we will be able to transform currently inaccessible areas into lush Welcome Gardens which promote biodiversity, enhance pedestrian safety and accessibility at our North Gate entrance and create a dynamic Sustainability Education Quad that will serve as a hub for hands-on workforce development training in horticulture, composting, organic gardening, sustainable operations, and more.”
The new Welcome Gardens will improve a pedestrian entrance via the North Gate on Blossom Avenue, introducing visitors to the beauty of the natural environment while expanding the Garden’s collection. The Welcome Gardens will replace existing temporary service trailers and open a space which is currently inaccessible to the public.