3. Narrows Botanical Gardens contains a butterfly garden and turtle sanctuary

Narrows Botanical Garden

One of New York City’s largest and longest-lasting all-volunteer gardening initiatives, the Narrows Botanical Gardens has served the broader Bay Ridge community since 1995. Founders James Johnson and Joan Regan noticed neglected space and tree pits in a stretch of parkland. Wanting to turn this waste of public space into a revived area, the two garden enthusiasts started nurturing the land and others followed suit.

Joining forces with principal gardener of Manhattan’s City Hall Park, Richard Haugland, Johnson worked to create large exhibitions within the space. As the community worked to revive the space, they added a lily pond, planted bushes along the Belt Parkway and completed a beautiful greenhouse. Today, the Narrows Botanical Gardens also contain Rock Wall Garden, Turtle Sanctuary, Willow Grove, and Zen Garden, along with other attractions.