It’s been a long road to get the Queens Botanical Garden pathways repaved, but the revitalization is finally underway.
The garden is undergoing a $4 million infrastructure transformation that will add an irrigation system and redo walkways on the 39-acre campus, which have not seen a full repaving in half a century.
“It’s been 50 years,” said Susan Lacerte, executive director of the garden. “These pathways have done a really good job and the city is making an investment.”
The project, which is broken into three phases, will install brand new pathways throughout the garden. In previous years, the walkways, which are loaded with cracks and sinking areas, have only been patched up when certain spots needed serious attention and only a few were paved when the parking area was being constructed.
After construction, the garden will also have a sprinkler system. Currently, workers have to carry hoses across the garden to water plants and grass.
The first phase, which will be completed soon, already has most of the pathways around the water fountain complete.
In the second phase, the College Point Boulevard entrance will be repaved, and a stepped ramp will be added on the bridge that connects the garden to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, creating easier access to the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway. The third phase will complete the pathways around the meadow and in the middle of the garden.
The bulk of the funding was provided by the borough president’s office, the city council and the mayor’s office.
The Queens Botanical Garden was moved from Flushing Meadows Corona Park to its current Main Street location to make room for the 1964 World’s Fair. The two-story visitor’s and administration building was reconstructed in 2007.
If the garden can get more funding, the next project on Lacerte’s mind is to replace the temporary stark blue office trailers near the garden’s parking lot entrance, which are used as staff office space.
“When people come into the garden, it’s one of the first things that they see,” Lacerte said. “We envision an events center. Let’s hope in 10 years the blue trailers aren’t there.”