The New York Botanical Garden began phase 2 of its reopening, which includes limited indoor access to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. Since its temporary closure on March 15, due to COVID-19, NYBG has continued to develop and implement new safety protocols in accordance with the latest State and New York Forward requirements for businesses and cultural institutions, CDC guidelines, and OSHA standards. The Botanical Garden began phase 1 of its reopening plan, welcoming the general public to the grounds of its 250-acre site, on July 28.
NYBG is among the most comprehensive botanical gardens in the world—an urban oasis and integral part of the cultural fabric of New York City, anchored in the Bronx. In this next phase of NYBG’s reopening, visitors will once again be able to explore the Haupt Conservatory’s interconnected galleries, each featuring a different botanical habitat and specimens from around the globe. Outdoors, the verdant landscape is currently showcasing seasonal standouts such as striking cardinal flowers, mauve asters, and sweeping grasses among its one million plants.
Scenic paths and trails crisscross the Garden providing opportunities for discovery through encounters with nature. The gardens, outdoor collections, and natural features include 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 textured Chilton Azalea Garden; award-winning Rockefeller Rose Garden; inviting paths through the Ross Conifer Arboretum; Benenson Ornamental Conifers; and more.
Tram Tours, public programs, and group tours remain suspended temporarily as a safety precaution. The LuEsther T. Mertz Library, Edible Academy, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, and Hudson Garden Grill remain closed.
The Garden’s gradual reopening process incorporates enhanced safety measures based on best practices and guidance from health authorities and government agencies. New measures include requiring staff and visitors over the age of two to wear face coverings; increasing sanitization of public and staff areas; daily health screenings for on-site staff; supporting hygiene and social distancing practices; requiring timed-entry tickets purchased in advance; operating at a reduced capacity; and more.
The new, limited timed-entry ticketing system staggers visitors’ arrivals, promotes social distancing, and mitigates the risk of crowding in high-traffic areas. Advance purchase of timed tickets is required and will be confirmed by e-mail with the option to print or download a mobile ticket. Ticket options include the Garden Pass + Conservatory for access to the outdoor gardens and collections, the newly reopened Conservatory galleries, and the Courtyards; the Garden Pass for access to outdoor gardens and collections; and the Grounds-Only Pass, available to New York City residents only with valid proof of identification. Visitors who do not purchase advance tickets will not be guaranteed admission at this time. Garden Patrons and Members must also reserve timed tickets in advance. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit our website at nybg.org.
To further facilitate social distancing, visitors will find new wayfinding signage and pavement markings at admissions points and where queuing is necessary. Some pathways are designated for one-way foot traffic to help avoid congestion. New hand sanitizer stations on the grounds and in the Conservatory and touchless restroom appliances are available. There is ample parking on-site and in NYBG’s Parking Garage, just steps away from the Mosholu Entrance. Other visitor amenities include:
- Pine Tree Café (10 a.m.–6 p.m.; limited menu and outdoor seating),
- Hudson Garden Grill Terrace (12–5 p.m.; snacks and refreshments, including water, beer, and wine)
- Pine Tree Café Pop-up at the Rose Garden (11 a.m.–4 p.m.; snacks and refreshments, including water and ice cream)
- Clay Family Picnic Pavilions,
- “My Day at the Garden” kids and family activity guide,
- Self-guided audio tours, which are available by cell phone,
- Bloomberg Connects App for engaging with NYBG collections through detailed plant images, audio tours, and more, and
- NYBG Shop (per social distancing protocols).
The reopening plan is subject to change based on government guidance and in response to altered circumstances. Subsequent phases of the Garden’s reopening will be announced at a future date online at nybg.org and via the Garden’s social media channels.