Today the Queens Botanical Garden announced that Macy’s and the National Recreation and Park Association will support the QBG through its “Heart Your Park” initiative this spring. Through the initiative, Macy’s stores around the country selected more than 500 local parks and green spaces to help raise money for. So from March 7th until March 31st, customers can donate $1 or more at their local store and 100 percent of donations will benefit that store’s selected park. Macy’s will match the total donation dollar for dollar up until $250,000.
Donations for QBG will be accepted at the register at both the Macy’s Flushing and Queens Center Mall (Rego Park) stores. Here’s a statement from QBG’s Executive Director Susan Lacerte: “We are thrilled to partner with Macy’s and NRPA for ‘Heart Your Park’ this spring. Through this wonderful program and donations by Macy’s customers, we are excited about the increased awareness and additional funding for Queens Botanical Garden. This park is a great asset to the community, and we greatly appreciate Macy’s support.”
Red-tailed hawks, ring-necked pheasants and American robins, oh my! Dozens and dozens of bird species make their homes (or temporary homes) at the Queens Botanical Garden, and it’s time to take a census. This Saturday, the Flushing green space will participate in the 17th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, a global effort conducted by Bird Studies Canada, Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. Led by QBG staffer and birding enthusiast Shari Romar, this family-friendly event will resemble nature walk mixed with a scavenger hunt. The results will be added to those submitted from around the world to www.BirdCount.org. The data will help naturalists track migrations and avian populations in order to make informed conservation decisions.
Details: Great Backyard Bird Count, Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, February 15th, 11 am, free but registration is required via email to email@example.com.
It’s the first — and many say the best — after-party of the year. On February 8th, the 18th annual Flushing Lunar New Year Parade will kick off at Union Street and 37th Avenue at about 10 am. Roughly 4,000 participants, including dragon dancers, steel drummers, prancing unicorns and plenty of fireworks lovers, will march up Main Street to 39th Avenue to welcome the Year of the Horse. After the outdoor fun, the festive mood will head to the Queens Botanical Garden, where a three-hour celebration will begin with a traditional Chinese tea ceremony at 1 pm. Participants will mix their own herbal tea bags, and youngsters will create peat pot horses at an activity table. At 2 pm, the New York Chinese Chorus (above), accompanied by musicians with traditional Chinese instruments, will give its first of two 45-minute performances.
Details: Lunar New Year Celebration, Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, February 8th, 1 pm, Free, but fees apply for certain activities (first come, first served and supplies are limited; seating for performances is limited too).
The Queens Botanical Garden is thinking globally and acting locally. This Sunday, all are invited to drop off unwanted or broken electronics at the Flushing nonprofit, which will dispose of them for free. The 11th Annual After The Holidays E-Waste Event, sponsored by the Lower East Side Ecology Center and TekServe, gets its impetus from the fact that e-waste is responsible for about 70 percent of the toxins in U.S. landfills, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, while consisting of only about 1 percent of the volume in those landfills. Furthermore, e-waste often contains poisons such as lead, cadmium, mercury and flame-retardants. The EPA also claims that recycling e-waste reduces pollution, separates hazardous chemicals from water streams and the atmosphere. In fact, beginning in 2015, e-waste will be banned from regular trash by law. Among the items that QBG will accept are tangles of broken holiday lights, computers, faxes, cell phones, televisions, stereo equipment, printers, TVs, VCRs, DVDs and cameras. (Click here for a complete list.) And as an extra enticement, QBG will host children’s crafts workshops using recycled and repurposed items from 1 pm to 3 pm.
Details: After The Holidays E-Waste Event, QBG Parking Garden, 42-80 Crommelin Street, Flushing, January 12th, 10 am to 4 pm, Rain or Shine, Free.
Technically, it’s when the sun reaches its most southern declination. Effectively, it’s the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight hours for those living north of the Equator. Artistically, it’s has been the inspiration for dance, literature, mythology, painting, religion and ritual for centuries. Locally, it’s the perfect time to head to the Queens Botanical Garden. On December 8th, the Flushing oasis will celebrate the winter solstice with live music by the acappella group Rough Dozen, botanical craft workshops, a special holiday market, garden tours and a tree lighting that morphs into a seasonal sing-along. There’s also a rumor that Santa Claus will show up.
Details: Winter Solstice Celebration, Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, December 8th, 12:30 pm to 5 pm, Free. (QBG admission is free from November 1st through March 31st.)
A few improvements are in the works for the Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing, reports Queens Chronicle. According to the Chronicle, “A $3.15 million designation from capital funds will be used primarily to upgrade the Flushing garden’s pathways. An additional $114,764 will be allocated to pay for the design of a geothermal heating well.” Some pathways will be replaced with pavers, while other pathways will receive fancy-looking asphalt. Funding will also cover an improved entrance and a new entrance plaza at College Point Boulevard, as well as a better drainage system and an automatic irrigation system for the northeastern end of the garden. The new geothermal heating well will be used for the visitor center. No word on a timeline for all these improvements.
The Queens Botanical Garden is debuting a new art exhibit at its Gallery of the Visitor and Administration Building on Tuesday, November 5th. It’s H. David Stein’s “Deconstructed Flowers,” a mosaic of flora photography that is distinctively detailed. According to the QBG, “His intricate photographs pull out the dimensional presence of flowers using a special technique which layers multiple photographs into a single montage. The end result shows many views of the flower’s beauty in a single image.” Stein previously served as the chairman of surgery at Flushing Hospital and started studying at the International Center of Photography after retirement. He has since shown his work at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., the Salmagundi Club and The Mamaroneck Artist Guild. The Queens Botanical Garden exhibit will be on view to the public for free Tuesdays through Saturdays, 8 am to 4 pm. The exhibit will run until Saturday, January 25th.
Flushing gets the best of many art worlds this weekend with globally recognized musicians and dancers performing in two locations. On September 20th, Flushing Town Hall hosts Crossing Frets for Tapping, a cross-cultural live improvisation featuring virtuoso Chinese pipa player Min Xiao-Fen (above), Korean komungo player Jin Hi Kim (a Guggenheim Fellow in Music Composition) and Max Pollak, who merged authentic Afro-Cuban music and dance with American rhythm tap and body music to create RumbaTap. Meanwhile on September 22nd, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble (below) gives a free concert featuring music for brass quintet in the Cherry Circle. Garden attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food to donate to City Harvest.
Details One: Crossing Frets for Tapping, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, September 20th, 8 pm, $15.
Details Two: St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, September 22nd, 4 pm, free. (more…)
Zikrayat, which means “memories” in Arabic, is a group whose performances honor the music and dance traditions of Egypt, Lebanon and the greater Arab World. Inspired by the “Golden Age” of Egyptian musical cinema (1940s to 1960s), the band plays such instruments as the oud (a fretless lute), the nay (a cane flute) and the qanun (a zither), while solo and group belly dancers gyrate to the rhythms and melodies. On Sept. 7, Zikrayat will fill the air at the Queens Botanical Garden during a special outdoor concert in the Oak Allée, where picnicking is encouraged.
Details: Zikrayat, Queens Botanical Garden’s Oak Allee, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, September 7th, 6:15 pm, free with admission ($2-$4). (more…)
When slavery was legal in Colombia, silleteros (or enslaved porters) would carry heavy cargo — and even people — on their backs up the steep hills of this Andean nation. After emancipation in 1851, freed silleteros would make a living by carrying large amounts of flowers around the South American country. Over time, an art form developed as silleteros would make intricate floral designs (or silletas) to sell and show off. Pretty soon an annual event, La Feria de las Flores sprung up in the city of Medellin. This Sunday, the time-honored tradition takes center stage in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park as silleteros from Medellin will participate in the Multicultural Flower Festival, which will include folkloric dances, live world music and an arts fair. It will actually be extremely multi-cultural, with participants from Brazil, China, Ecuador, India, Bolivia, Mexico, Ireland, Bangladesh, Italy and Greece celebrating liberty and the beauty of life. Plus, the public is invited to see the silleteros in action and their silletas on display (above) at the Queens Botanical Garden on Aug. 16 and 17 and Aug. 20 – 24 in the crabapple orchard between 10 am and 5 pm.
Details: Multicultural Flower Festival, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the children’s playground at 111th Street and 54th Avenue, Aug. 18, 10 am.
Bonus details: Great Flower Parade 2013, Central Park West and 106th Street, Manhattan, Aug. 25, 10 am, free.