New York Botanical Garden outdoor gardens and collections open July 28

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The New York Botanical Garden.
Photo courtesy of NYBG

After months of being shut down due to COVID-19, the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) announced that it will reopen to the general public starting next week.

While the full reopening process will happen gradually, the Bronx’s top destination for plants, flowers and everything nature is officially opening its 250-acre site on Tuesday, July 28.

Beginning on July 21, NYBG opened its grounds to members, Bronx health care workers and Bronx neighbors with free access and free admission during Appreciation Week, which ends on July 26.  

The onset of COVID-19 forced Garden leadership to enact a temporary closure on March 15. But since then, NYBG has developed and implemented new safety protocols that align with State and New York Forward requirements, CDC guidelines and OSHA standards.

In a continuing effort to encourage safety and social distancing, NYBG leadership has introduced new measures for staff and guests to follow. Measures include requiring all staff and visitors older than 2 to wear face coverings, increasing sanitation of public and staff areas, daily health screenings for on-site staff, social distancing practices, timed-entry tickets purchased in advances and operating the grounds at a reduced capacity.

Those who wish to come to NYBG must purchase their timed tickets in advanced, and those who do not will not be guaranteed admission.

Other measures to facilitate social distancing include new way-finding signs and pavement markings and certain pathways designated for one-way foot traffic. The Garden will also have new hand sanitizer stations and touchless restroom appliances.

According to NYBG, the following features and attractions will be open to the public starting next Tuesday:

  • the Native Plant Garden, with its meadow, woodland, promenade and centerpiece water feature
  • Bronx River, with its waterfall, which runs through the 50-acre Thain Family Forest
  • layered and colorful patterns and plant groupings of the perennial and herb gardens
  • lushly shaded Chilton Azalea Garden
  • award-winning Rockefeller Rose Garden
  • tropical and aquatic plant-filled conservatory courtyards and pools
  • inviting paths through the Ross Conifer Arboretum
  • Benenson Ornamental Conifers
  • Burn Family Lilac Collection

The Tram Tours, public programs and group tours remain suspended as a safety precaution. Additionally, the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, LuEsther T. Mertz Library, Edible Academy, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden and Hudson Garden Grill remain closed.

Other amenities include:

  • Pine Tree Café (10 a.m. to 6 p.m., limited menu and outdoor seating)
  • Hudson Garden Grill Terrace (12 to 5 p.m..; snacks and refreshments, including water, beer, and wine)
  • Pine Tree Café Pop-up at the Rose Garden (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; snacks and refreshments, including water, beer, and wine)
  • Clay Family Picnic Pavilions
  • “My Day at the Garden” kids and family activity guide
  • Self-guided audio tours, which are available by cell phone
  • NYBG Shop (per social distancing protocols)

To learn more, visit

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