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Mar

3

59°F

Sunrise
06:26 AM
Sunset
05:50 PM
Tide

HIGH 1:28 PM


Low 7:19 PM

Park Hours and Info

Park is Open 7 Days a Week | 6AM - 1AM
Entry is Free!

Pier 28AM - 9PM* Pier 56AM - 11PM* Education Center3-5PM (TUE/THU), 1-5PM (SAT) Pier 6 Volleyball Courts6AM - 11PM Playgroundssunrise-sunset
Plants & Wildlife

Horticulture

Park plantings bring nature into a former industrial site for all visitors to enjoy while also providing habitat to regional wildlife. Park landscapes are managed organically so that children and butterflies alike can connect and explore a healthy environment. Relax on a lawn, watch the meadows sway in the wind, or discover our native wildflowers as you stroll the Park paths.

Explore Plants & Wildlife

Over the years, the Horticulture team at Brooklyn Bridge Park has identified, studied, and compiled massive amounts of research on the plants and wildlife found in the Park. Visit the Plants & Wildlife page to learn more about what and who finds home in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Explore Plants & Wildlife

Ecological Horticulture Resources

Explore by Ecosystem

The patchwork of gardens and ecosystems are not only beautiful, but they perform critical functions for Park patrons and wildlife alike. The beds define views, block wind, and provide shade; the flowers, berries, and beds provide habitat for native bees, butterflies, and migratory birds.

Gardens at Brooklyn Bridge Park are managed organically to protect the environment in the Park and the water around it. Brooklyn Bridge Park uses compost, captures and recirculates rainwater for irrigation, and practices organic pest management. The absence of chemicals and the inclusion of native plants ensure that the Park is a healthy environment for visitors and birds, butterflies, ladybugs, turtles and even the microscopic soil organisms that keep our plants happy.

Freshwater Wetlands

Woodlands

Meadows

Salt Marshes

Horticulture Best Practices: Mulch

Download the Mulch Guide

Mulching is a practice that many gardeners learn to do by rote: an annual application, following rules with little regard to the various contexts they’re in. But ecological gardeners amend soils and mulch only in response to the needs of the garden. We pay close attention to the plant communities, soil composition, weed pressure, and hydrology of a bed prior to mulching. We must also consider newer research on the benefits of not mulching, such as making space for the many soil dwelling organisms who can’t penetrate shredded woodchips. But overall, we must trust in the natural processes of the plants we care for, allowing them to perform their seasonal behaviors, interfering only when necessary.

Herbaceous plant and deciduous trees do not throw their leaves away in autumn. They carefully place them on top of their root systems, where those leaves buffer temperatures, provide habitat for ground dwelling organisms, and slowly break down to create the next generation of soil. Leaves, old stems, rotten wood, are all methods through which plants create the soils they want to live in. When we micromanage the duff layer, raking out and topdressing, we can interrupt critical processes. So at Brooklyn Bridge Park, wherever and whenever possible, we “leave the leaves,” as well as stems, twigs, and anything else the plants are inclined to put on the ground.

BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK MULCH PHILOSOPHY

  • Mulch is placed only when necessary. We do not use mulch as a routine, seasonal application in all areas.
  • Wherever possible, we use fallen plant material (leaves, stems) as a mulch rather than purchased material. This is important because plants use leaves and dead material to build the soil they need. Many organisms also live in the duff layer, and we are trying to encourage them.
  • Mulch is less of a blanket to put on top of soils, and more of a constructed O horizon. It’s future soil, a slow motion amendment. With few exceptions, mulch should be the sort of matrix your plants want to grow in.

Benefits of Mulch

Drawbacks of Mulch

Types of Mulch

When to Mulch

How to Mulch

Mulch Use by Ecosystem at Brooklyn Bridge park

20,000

participated in environmental education programs

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365

Days Open Per Year

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3,000

Trees in the park

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