Brooklyn Botanical Garden needs to explain and plan better for lay-offs of scientists
With no warning or opportunity to consult with collaborators, the science department of the BBG has been essentially eliminated, and there is grave concern that there are inadequate plans to safeguard existing -- and irreplacable -- resources.
Science at BBG is not a frill. It is part of the institution's core mission. Its staff has been involved for decades in research, education, and resource management projects throughout the city, the region, the nation and the world. The Metropolitan Flora Project, for example, is widely known and serves as a model for urban biodiversity mapping projects elsewhere. Other examples of projects include collaboration with NYC Parks Department's Greenbelt Native Plant Nursery, the Freshkills restoration, the Black Rock Forest Consortium in Cornwall, NY, as well as greenroofs and other plant restoration projects around the city. Science at BBG also serves thousands of citizens involved in plant-centric entrepreneurship -- urban agriculture, native-species gardening, bee-keeping, regional eco-tourism, etc. Multiple universities, colleges, and even K-12 schools in and near the city can no longer rely on science resources at BBG.
Citizens and the city government need to be involved not only because of the City's commitment to projects such as Million Trees NY and PLANYC, among others, but also because the BBG is a 100+ year old institution whose full mission is important to all New Yorkers and to stewards of nature around the globe.