Crown Heights

Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s gala declared a ‘massive success’

Star attraction: Dr. Suzanne Simard, TED Talks star, author of "Finding the Mother Tree"

June 13, 2024 Lucien Clough
Brooklyn Botanic Garden honoree and Better Earth Award recipient Dr. Suzanne Simard. Brooklyn Eagle photos by Gabriele Holtermann
Share this:

WASHINGTON AVENUE — The Brooklyn Botanic Garden recently held a gala the planners called “massively successful,” largely attributable to a special guest: the renowned forestry scientist Dr. Suzanne Simard.

Your table awaits.
Your table awaits.

The gala came at an important moment for the BBG: As it continues to protect its plants from the impacts of climate change, it also struggles to maintain the impressive diversity already on display.

“The gala was a success in every way: socially, spiritually, artistically, and financially,” said BBG President and CEO Adrian Benepe in an interview with the Eagle. 

The gala was filled with lively festivities, including a performance from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and artistic displays of birds and insects. This year, it also concluded with the first after-party since Pre-Covid. 

Protective tent was not really needed on a day of perfect weather.
Protective tent was not really needed on a day of perfect weather.

“We surpassed our goal, raising more money than since pre-COVID,” continued Benepe. “This is essential, especially as we continue to work to fill the hole created by NYC funding cuts for cultural institutions.” 

The large turnout was, in part, a result of Simard’s presence at the gala. Simard’s TED Talks have been viewed millions of times on YouTube, and her book, “Finding the Mother Tree,” is a New York Times Bestseller. 

Adrian Benepe, president of BBG.
Adrian Benepe, president of BBG.

Speaking to a crowd of over 500 attendees, Simard gave a personal and moving speech about her work with indigenous tribes in Canada, the incredible communities trees build with one another and how our understanding of plants should shape our role as caretakers of the planet. 

Former BBG chairperson Earl Weiner leads the walk from the cocktail party to dinner.
Former BBG chairperson Earl Weiner leads the walk from the cocktail party to dinner.

In a recent interview with the Eagle, Benepe praised Simard’s work, stating that many of her experiments and findings will lay the groundwork (and rootwork) of the environmental developments that the BBG hopes to do to ensure the safety of their plants. 

The gala also saw the unveiling of the BBG’s newest exhibition, Natural Attractions: A Plant-Pollinator Love Story, which includes art installations, interactive displays and events that will unfold across the summer.

Click to enlarge image


Leave a Comment


Leave a Comment