As New York City peers into the next phases of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s four-step reopening plan, the New York Botanical Garden announced it will unlock its gates to visitors this month — with some restrictions.
On Tuesday, the 250-acre expanse revealed plans to gradually reopen to the general public July 28, coinciding with the city’s push to Phase Four — the date and scope of which is currently being evaluated, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio in a press briefing Wednesday. When the Garden opens, patrons will be able to explore outdoor collections and natural features. The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and some programs, such as tram and group tours, will remain suspended as a safety precaution. Masked and timed-entry tickets will be required.
Since the institution closed in March, the flowers have continued to bloom on the Garden’s website, where hosts of virtual walks linger. Crabapples, tulips and dogwoods filled the site’s digital offerings, providing the muse of nature to the public. Guests who visit once the Garden reopens will be greeted with the currently-in-bloom daylilies, hydrangeas, water lilies, lotuses and more.
For art lovers, the closure of the Garden resulted in the delay of the much-anticipated Yayoi Kusama exhibition “Cosmic Nature.” Originally slated to open in May, the interactive installation has been pushed to spring 2021, with exact dates to be announced.
“The passion that I and those at the New York Botanical Garden have poured into this exhibition is still burning,” Kusama said in an April statement about the cancellation. “Everyone, I hope you will wait. We aspire for endless love permeated with everyone’s hearts of human love, a wish for peace in the world, our dreams, and wonders of hope — it is our wish that this exhibition can offer these as its greatest gift.”
The plans to reopen arrive after the Garden’s announcement earlier this month that Carrie Rebora Barratt will step down as CEO and president at the end of the summer, following a two-year tenure as the organization’s first woman president.
Top Image: An aerial view of the conservatory at dusk. Photo: Robert Benson Photography.