A converted and relocated remnant of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, the Queens Botanical Garden consists of almost 40 acres of trees, shrubs and rose, bee, herb, and flower patches. Something is in bloom no matter the season. Special sections include Cherry Circle, Fragrance Walk, Perennial Garden, Arboretum and Pinetum. The Victorian Wedding Garden, complete with a footbridge over a babbling stream, is a favorite spot for couples to exchange vows.
Built in 2007, the visitors center was the first New York City building to earn a “Platinum” rating from the United States Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. The center has a planted green roof that minimizes storm water run-off, solar panels that generate 17 percent of the building’s electricity, geothermal heating and cooling that uses 55-degree water pumped from an aquifer to maintain the building’s climate, graywater recycling that cleans water from its sinks, dishwasher, and showers for use in the building’s public toilets, compost toilets for staffers and bioswales that capture storm water to reduce pressure on the city’s overburdened sewer system.
Inside scoop: The garden abuts Flushing’s Main Street on one side. This thoroughfare is the heart of the city’s biggest Chinatown with Asian restaurants, boutiques, hair salons, and stores that sell vegetables and fruits that don’t have recognizable English names.
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