Archives for posts with tag: brooklyn botanic gardens
Native and Not Panel pic

Left to right – Katerli Bounds, Uli Lorimer, Kristy King, Leila Mougoui Bakhtiari


On April 28 6:30-8PM, we had our third panel discussion on Native and Not: NYC’s Dynamic Flora as part of our spring theme Living Things in an Urban Environment, where panelists from NYC Parks and Brooklyn Botanic Garden discussed the state of native flora, invasive species management and what we as a community can do to increase floral biodiversity.

Uli Lorimer, Curator of Native Flora from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, brought us beautiful photos alongside sobering news about the declining trend of urban flora in our region.


Native Flora – Arethusa bulbosa


NY Metropolitan Flora Project Native Flora Survey Results


Kristy King, Director of Forest Restoration of NYC Parks, revealed the surprising number of urban forests, salt marshes and other natural landscapes in NYC while revealing NYC Parks goals for forest restoration.

NYC Parks Goals for Forest Restoration

NYC Parks Goals for Forest Restoration

NYC's Surprising Amount of  Natural Areas

NYC’s Surprising Amount of Natural Areas


And Katerli Bounds, Director of Stewardship of NYC Parks, presented us with fantastic ways the NYC community can get involved in stewardship activities through both NYC Parks and the Gowanus Canal Conservancy.  A great upcoming project being TreesCount! 2015 where NYC Parks enlists the help of the NYC community to map and catalogue every tree in NYC.


Trees Count! 2015


Stewardship Opportunities in Forestry, Salt Marshes, Fresh Water Wetland and Bioswales


Then Leila Mougoui Bakhtiari, our very own volunteer coordinator of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s Urban Forestry program moderated the discussion, bringing up fascinating questions such as:

At what point is a plant species considered to be invasive?

Can invasive species be used to our benefit?

And what are everyones thoughts on the controversial book Wild Urban Plants by Peter Del Tredici?

To listen to the entire panel discussion click here for our audio player.

The evening ended with the quote “if you build it, they will come”, a great segue into our next panel where we delve into urban pollinators. Join us on May 19 6:30-8PM at Threes Brewing for Beyond the Honeybee: Exploring Critical Pollinators where we expand our idea of pollinators, why they are particularly important in an urban setting and action steps the NYC community can take to support their survival.  We will be joined by Sam Droege, head of the bee inventory and monitoring program at the US Geological Survey (click here to see his beautiful bee species photographs), Howard Ginsberg, entomologist for USGS who studies the impact of invertebrates on natural systems and Tina Harrison, Ph.D. candidate for ecology at Rutgers University who is studying the impact on bee genetic diversity in disturbed sites compared to undisturbed sites. Click here to RSVP.

Follow us on Twitter at @GowanusGreen and on Instagram @gowanuscanalconservancy for GCC news, volunteer events and trivia.


With the creation of the Urban Ecology Lecture Series, the Gowanus Canal Conservancy has expanded its platform and increased its education initiatives within the community. These programs share knowledge about subjects related to the Canal and issues that the Conservancy directly tries to address. However, it hasn’t been only community members who have been learning new things – this summer, staff members were able to go on a field trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens!

At the Gardens, we went inside their Visitor Center and learned about the science behind it. Did you know it stays cool without using any fans or air conditioners? The combination of radiant heating/cooling systems, concrete floors, and the installation of a green roof allow it to stay cool even in the worst heatwave- now that’s amazing!

Check it out: IMAG0330
Later, we went outside and toured their grounds. We explored their rose gardens, walked through the cherry esplanade, and made our way to see the lilies and the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden! It was great to wander around such a large facility and see all the different exhibits they have.

Check out this cool treehouse-like structure they have on the grounds!
Their warm, desert, and tropical pavilion was a big hit among us.IMAG0332IMAG0331
As was their herb and vegetable gardens!
We then went inside their Native Flora Garden and saw many familiar species. There were plenty of street trees there that we recognized from mapping and stewardship projects. All in all, the trip was a great chance for staff to learn about a variety of flowers and plants, and to review and discover some native plants! Thanks for having us Brooklyn Botanic Gardens!