The Brooklyn Botanic Garden likes to describe itself as a garden of firsts.
In 1914, its Children’s Garden was a world-renowned prototype. Its Japanese garden, built the next year, was the first of its kind in America. In 1955, it planted the Fragrance Garden — the first garden planned for the sight-impaired.
As the institution commemorates its centennial this year, the BBG continues to establish new roots in an increasingly dense borough. If it were its own city, Brooklyn would have the second least amount of green space per capita after Las Vegas, said the Garden’s president Scott Medbury.
“As we cross the threshold into our second century, it’s so clear our role is only going to grow in importance,” Medbury said.
A new Woodland Garden, scheduled to open in two years, and a garden-wide water recirculation project, will be models for addressing future concerns of scarce and expensive water. The BBG is also starting the city’s first certificate program to train civic-minded gardeners to start community gardens and window box projects.
Medbury would like to see a gardener on every block: “We want to put people out in the community to help their neighbors.”