Forest Park

The Daily Plant : Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Greener Greenhouse Blossoms In Queens

Photo by Daniel Avila

On April 30, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, 3rd and 6th grade students from the St. John Evangelical Lutheran School, members of Community Boards 5 and 9, area residents, representatives of DC 37 Gardeners Local 1507, and Forest Park Greenhouse employees – both past and present - to cut the ribbon on the reconstruction of the Forest Park Greenhouse.

This $3.88 million renovation converted a deteriorating, century-old greenhouse into a state-of-the-art facility with a new ventilation system that will prolong the growing season, a redesigned interior to increase the building’s growing capacity, a computerized drip-irrigation system that can be programmed to the watering needs of individual plants, and a more efficient heating system that will decrease the building’s energy footprint. In total, these new renovations are expected to increase the amount of plants grown, from 200,000 to 250,000 per year.

“The Forest Park Greenhouse has provided plants and flowers to our parks for more than a century,” said Commissioner Benepe. “Thanks to funding from the City Council, Borough President Marshall, and Mayor Bloomberg we have restored this building and outfitted it with the latest “green” technology that will allow us to continue greening the city for the next hundred years.”

"Gardeners maintain them throughout the summer, and as they are doing that we are still growing here again in the Greenhouse to get ready for the next crop, so that throughout the summer and fall we always have splashes of color in our parks," said Queens Borough Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski.

"It's a computerized, controlled system where it controls the temperature, humidity, high points, low points, where you can set it along the computer depending on what you are growing," said Queens Deputy Chief of Operations Paul D'Amore.

"There are sensors inside the house as well outside, and it will automatically identify what the problems are and the computer will adjust the system as needed," said Greenhouse Supervisor Mark Ford.

Located inside the city’s tenth largest park, the Forest Park Greenhouse was built from 1904 to 1905. The building is thought to have been designed by the famed American greenhouse and conservatory company, Lord & Burnham.


“I don't believe in childhood. I don't believe that there's a demarcation. 'Oh you mustn't tell them that. You mustn't tell them that.' You tell them anything you want. Just tell them if it's true. If it's true you tell them.”

Maurice Sendak
(1928 – 2012)

Directions to Forest Park

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