The Greenbelt Native Plant Center (GNPC), a facility of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, is a 13–acre greenhouse, nursery, and seed bank complex located on Staten Island, NY.


We would like to highlight two stories from our history. First, the story of the Mohlenhoff family—three generations of farmers who called this corner of New York City home at a not–too–distant time when family farms and a rural childhood were still part of the New York scene.

Secondly, we'd like to acknowledge our immediate predecessors—two Staten Island botanists and a park official who in the 1980s had the vision and will to preserve the rich natural history of Staten Island.

The Mohlenhoff Family Farm

picture on mohlenhoff family farm in 1958Carl Mohlenhoff, retired Parks employee and nursery manager of the Greenbelt Native Plant Center (GNPC), began and ended his career on the same land where he was born and raised. How many New Yorkers can make that claim? Read More

The Early Days of the Greenbelt Native Plant Center

picture of two goats and their handlersIn the early 1980s, a trio of visionary Staten Islanders came together to create what would eventually become the Greenbelt Native Plant Center. Parks Department employees Richard Lynch and Nancy Slowik—naturalists, botanists, educators—were working at High Rock Park for then-Greenbelt Administrator Tom Paulo when, out of a growing concern for the rapidly diminishing natural areas of Staten Island, they collaborated on a proposal to create the area?s first native plant nursery. Read More

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