Bringing the Garden to Brooklyn

Brooklyn Botanic Garden


The Mission: Connect to a more diverse public and bring new faces to the Garden.

Our Approach: Explore neighborhoods; discover green spaces and learn about the local meanings of gardens and other green places.


Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) wanted to widen its public – specifically nearby community residents who were infrequent visitors to the Garden. Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, this project in “diversity marketing” turned into a cultural exploration of green place-making.desert


Provide direction for outreach communications and programs.



Spenser St gardenIncreasing the diversity of the BBG public meant increasing the scope of the garden, not literally, but conceptually, to include the many and varied greenspaces imagined, nurtured, and celebrated by residents in their local communities. Greenspaces, we found, were not just gardens; they were forms of connection with one’s past, heritage, neighbors, healing. Establishing relationships with the ‘under-represented’ was not a matter of reaching out to people on the basis of ethnicity but, rather, a matter of recognizing, supporting and connecting the common efforts of the BBG and surrounding communities in their creation of greenspaces – a wholly different way of thinking about building one’s public.shore-road-council