2012 MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO HONOR
Founded in 1910, Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) is an independent non-profit institution committed to education, research, and the display of horticulture. BBG serves communities in New York City and internationally through its world-class gardens, extensive research collections, and numerous educational and community programs. Situated on 52 acres in the heart of Brooklyn, the Garden is home to over 12,000 kinds of plants and hosts more than 725,000 visitors annually.
BBG hosts Hanami and Annual Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival) events celebrating the blooming of the cherry blossom trees and Japanese culture. Started in 1982, BBG Sakura Matsuri is one of the biggest Japanese culture events in the Tri-State area. During the Sakura Matsuri, tens of thousands of visitors come to enjoy a dynamic weekend of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture inspired by BBG's famous collection of flowering cherry trees. Visitors can experience more than 50 events and performances including dance, martial arts, manga, costume play (cosplay), workshops, demonstrations, and guided tours of the Garden's Japanese plant collections.
BBG's cherry blossom trees, positioned in the Cherry Walk, were first planted in 1921 and quickly became known as one of the best cherry blossom viewing sites outside of Japan. The planting of the allées of Prunus Kanzan on Cherry Esplanade in 1941 added to this reputation and has become the centerpiece of the Sakura Matsuri Festival. Along Cherry Walk and in other parts of the garden, more than 40 other varieties of oriental flowering cherries make BBG one of the foremost sites for viewing cherry blossoms outside of Japan.
In addition, BBG is home to the first Japanese garden (The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden) constructed in North America (1914-1915). BBG also houses the world-class C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum, which includes the second oldest and one of the most comprehensive public collections of bonsai in the United States.