The 39-acre oasis celebrated a return to in-person operations last week, as New York City initiated Phase IV of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s reopening plan, which included low-risk outdoor venues such as botanical gardens and zoos.
"It is such a relief and joy to be open again,” said executive director Susan Lacerte. “It was wonderful to see people and their smiling faces come through the gates on our opening day. We look forward to welcoming more visitors to enjoy this outdoor treasure in Flushing."
The Queens Botanical Garden is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Various safety measures have also been implemented to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
State guidelines mandate that the garden admit only one-third of its standard capacity, and guests must wear face coverings and maintain a six-foot distance between themselves and others. Masks are available for purchase upon entry.
Staff are also disinfecting high-touch surfaces throughout the day, and multiple hand sanitizer dispensers are stationed throughout the grounds.
Though the visitors building, which houses the Garden’s gallery, is closed to the public, art is still incorporated into the experience with outdoor installations, thanks to a collaboration with AnkhLave Arts Alliance, a nonprofit that works toward inclusivity and representation in the contemporary art world.
By presenting art in a nontraditional setting like the Queens Botanical Garden, AnkhLave aims to promote artists of color, who represent the institution’s diverse visiting audience.
Six local artists were selected to create site-specific installations for locations throughout the garden. Information about the exhibiting artists and the Queens Botanical Garden’s reopening can be found at queensbotanical.org.