NYBG opens redesigned East Gate

NYBG opens redesigned East Gate
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

Visiting the New York Botanical Garden just got easier.

Following a yearlong project, a grand reopening for the Garden’s East Gate was celebrated on Thursday, April 27.

Councilman Ritchie Torres; Bronx Parks Commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa; Arlene Drayton, Community Board 11 Parks Committee chairwoman; Gregory Long, NYBG CEO and William C. Steere Sr. president; Andrew Fletcher, Empire State Development deputy director; Alexia Nazarian, Empire State Development project manager; Merrill Hesch, NYS Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation regional grants officer and Joseph Thompson, NYBG Board of Trustees member, all attended the conduit’s welcomed return.

The pedestrian gate is a convenient daytime entrance for Allerton, Olinville and Van Nest residents and visitors traveling from NYC via the IRT 2 train.

“The reopening of the NY Botanical Garden’s East Gate will ensure more residents, particularly in the eastern Bronx, have access to this incredible institution,” said Torres.

Tower|Golde’s design for NYBG’s East Gate and Green Zone earned an Excellence in Design award by the NYC Public Design Commission in 2014.

The entrance is accessible by a Waring Avenue and Bronx Park East walkway leading to a bridge overlooking a deep ravine.

The remodeled area features a gently sloping, wheelchair-accessible pathway; new landscaping; a Green Material Recycling Center; a composting restroom and a pedestrian bridge to the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden.

“There’s no place on Earth like the NYBG, it’s a Bronx treasure,” expressed Rodriguez-Rosa.

The project was supported by $2.2 million in city funding provided by Mayor de Blasio; Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and the City Council; $600,000 in state funding provided by Governor Cuomo; NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Empire State Development and a $485,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“We are deeply grateful to the city, state and federal officials and agencies whose funding made it possible for us to provide our neighbors on east side of the Garden with a truly accessible and inviting way to enter our historic landscape,” stated Long.

Aaron Bouska, NYBG vice president for Government and Community Relations, said NYBG gave CB 11 and residents advance notice early last year that East Gate would close for reconstruction.

He added the East Gate site was once a holding area for boulders removed during the Bronx River Parkway’s construction.

Drayton noted some ‘Park Closes at Dusk’ signs have not been reposted at Waring Avenue following the reconstruction.

“I will speak with the Parks manager to make sure the signs are reposted because that is the general rule,” she explained.

The East Gate is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays and Monday federal holidays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from mid-January to mid-February.

It opens Saturdays at 9 a.m. when grounds admissions is free until 10 a.m.

The gate is closed for evening events and visitors should utilize NYBG’s Conservatory or Mosholu gates.