The Queens Botanical Garden (QBG), located at the northeast corner of Flushing Meadows Corona, is a private, nonprofit cultural institution that evolved from the 5-acre "Gardens on Parade" exhibit showcased at the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair. Officially opening as the Queens Botanical Garden in 1948, QBG is now one of the City's 34 Cultural Institutions Group (CIG) members, featuring 39 acres of City land under its care.
QBG serves one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the United States. Nearly 300,000 people, speaking any of the more than 140 languages or dialects heard throughout the borough of Queens, visit the Garden annually. QBG is the primary source of botanical education for children and adults in the borough, fostering healthy connections between people and nature.
The Visitor & Administration Building, opened in September 2007, was designed to achieve the highest (platinum) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating. It includes three working roofs: one with solar panels to capture and use the sun's energy, another to collect rain for water uses, and a green, planted roof that is accessible to the public. It also makes exemplary use of natural ventilation and daylight, and includes a geothermal heating exchange system, composting toilets and other environmentally green technologies. The landscape portion of this ambitious project includes a cleansing biotope and constructed wetlands, as well as woodland, prairie and aquatic plant communities native to the New York region. The building is one of three green museums written of in Metropolitan Home magazine (Jan/Feb08),and The New York Times has highlighted the new structure as "something special" (January 20, 2008).
QBG continues to be a community facility while working to become a national leader among botanic gardens in cross-cultural programs and sustainable practices. As New York City has the lowest ratio of green space per capita of any major city in the United States, this project gives New Yorkers the opportunity to participate in a green demonstration project that reveals the connections between global conservation and local sustainability, deepening the visitor experience as we seek to teach, inform, and inspire
QBG is continually developing programs and exhibits that utilize the enormous educational potential of the green technologies that are utilized in the Garden's facilities and landscapes. Public education programs are accessible to all Queens residents as well as families in the other boroughs of New York and beyond. Crafts, hands-on activities, tours, story telling, music and dance movements contribute greatly to making the lessons of environmental sustainability and cultural connections relevant and dynamic. In addition to our well-reputed workshops and tours, QBG offers children and adults a rich array of programs in horticulture, environmental education and cultural arts that promote the Garden's dual vision of environmental sustainability and cultural expression, including Arbor Day, HSBC's Children's Garden and the popular Gardening Day.