When I say “Bronx” images of the arson induced urban blight of the ‘60s and ‘70s is probably the first thing that comes to mind and with good reason. The chaos inflicted on the borough during that time left it scarred for almost 30 years. It remains the home of one of the five poorest congressional districts in the country, but generally, the image of the Bronx has transitioned from one of decay to one of rebirth. It is home to one of the best public high schools in the country (Bronx Science), one of the largest zoos in the country (Bronx Zoo), and a preeminent botanical garden (New York Botanical Garden).
Image courtesy Jennifer Harris
The New York Botanical Garden is host to plant research laboratories, living plant collections, plant exhibitions, and covers 250 acres of land along the Bronx River.
Atop 50 of these acres lives a collection of Oak, Beech, Cherry, Birch, Tulip, and White Ash trees. These trees are virgin forest, a concept I have yet still to fully grasp. I am not sure if I am surprised that virgin forest still exists in the city or that there is so little of it left. Both ideas seem to induce the same level of incredulity.
The part of me that grew up the son of a forester almost literally in the middle of the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood Forest is stunned by the fact that so little native flora remains. The part of me that has lived in New York City for the past four years cannot believe someone had enough foresight to save any of it.
Image courtesy www.nybg.org