Explore the Beauty of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden With Audio Walks and Installations

Photo by Susan De Vries


    The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has launched a series of guided audio walks and installations, offering in-depth visits to the green space that remain socially distanced.

    Through the Art in the Garden Series, two guided audio tours and two site-specific sound installations will be available at the garden from February through May.

    Visitors to the horticultural museum can currently pop in their earbuds and experience the guided walk titled “Meander” by artists Gelsey Bell and Joseph White, which takes visitors through the garden while meditative voices, compositions, singing and facts about the space play.

    “You’ll be prompted to take a moment and observe what you’re seeing around you in nature and what you’re feeling,” said Elizabeth Reina-Longoria, a spokesperson for the garden. “It’s very nice and peaceful.”

    Starting February 26, “Terminal Moraine,” a sound installation by artists Ben Rubin and Brian House, will be open to the public at the Walled Garden, the newest addition to the green space. The installation features sounds inspired by the glacial movements that formed much of the natural environment of the Botanic Garden and Prospect Park, and the sounds of trees growing.

    michael stewart brooklyn botanic

    Photo by Michael Stewart via Brooklyn Botanic Garden

    To mark the one-year anniversary of the city’s shutdown due to the pandemic, the institution will reprise the sound installation “Loved” — which commemorates those lost to COVID-19 — by percussionist David Cossin in the Cherry Esplanade. The meditative composition featuring seven vibraphones will play hourly on the esplanade for 5 minutes and 28 seconds.

    For those looking to learn more about the garden’s natural environs, a series of guided nature walks from naturalist Brad Klein are available. Klein takes guests through the Water Garden, the Japanese Hill and Pond Garden, and the Osborne Garden, educating listeners on the survival habits of the garden’s residents as they rough it through winter.

    The guided audio tours act as a stand-in to the in-person programming the garden is currently unable to offer due to the pandemic.

    “We’re not able to have our docents who normally give tours,” said Reina-Longoria. “Part of the reason that we’re doing all of these audio tours is it’s a chance for people to come and partake in artistic programs or guided tours without having to be with other people.”

    Editor’s note: A version of this story originally ran in Brooklyn Paper. Click here to see the original story.

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