Neighbor Starts Petition To Restore Science At Brooklyn Botanic Garden


Cherry Blossoms at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

After the Brooklyn Botanic Garden made cuts to its science staff last month, the fate of botanical research at the institution could be in serious jeopardy. Citing issues with its off-site Science Center building and increasing expenses, a spokeswoman for BBG told DNAinfo that its research is just on hiatus, but neighbor Chris Kreussling, aka Flatbush Gardener, is worried it’s more than that.

In a petition he’s started asking BBG’s Board of Directors to “restore science as a priority,” Chris cites a pattern by BBG that he says shows a shift away from science: no science positions filled when they’ve been vacated and the demotion of some science staff positions, while areas like fundraising and marketing have expanded, and major infrastructure projects have flourished.

“BBG has raised tens of millions of dollars of funding for these projects,” Chris writes. “But nothing for science.”

As of this morning, the petition has about 170 signatures, many with comments.

“The outreach of Greenbridge to bring gardening to underserved communities has been fantastic,” writes neighbor Tracey Hohman in her petition signature, noting that she is a member and volunteer at BBG. “Education and research should still stand at the forefront of BBG’s mission, otherwise it is just another pretty place. BBG is turning in Disneyland.”

There are still some science staffers at BBG, and according to the Daily News, they are looking for a temporary home for the sensitive plant library.

For some more info and to sign the petition, see it here.

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  1. Well, look, there are a lot of things that the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is doing that seem silly. Millions are spent on a new entrance, and the rose garden has been contracted so that not even the “rose girl” statue has her usual roses about her. At the height of the cherry trees’ brilliance, the garden makes it so that you cannot smell them — they’ve got food and loud music blasting so that the whole cherry-blossom experience is lost.

    But then, the Brooklyn Museum too has made unsound decisions. That enormous parking lot — for what? The galleries are empty. Funny, they’re not empty at the Metropolitan Museum, perhaps because that museum remembers not to look down on its guests. And then there was — is it still there? — that debasing of the period rooms, particularly the show of paper-mache birds crapping plastic guano on the (real) 18th-century dining room table and lowboy. Last year there was a bowl of glass dildoes beneath a table in the Rockefeller Room. How coy. Let these artists launch their own shows instead of editorializing about the very fine things already in the museum. I’d hate for the town of Edmonton to get wind of what the Brooklyn Museum thinks of the historic houses that made their way from there to here.

  2. Thank you for starting this petition. It’s time to stop the “corporatization” of NYC’s most important assets. BBG is one of Brooklyn’s gems, and neglecting education and research is inexcusable.
    I hope pressure can be effective in forcing the Board to remember its mission.

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