Please Vote to Save the Historic Rock Garden Cascade

The last time I asked my readers to help in an online voting competition, you all came through and helped my friends win an amazing professional photography shoot for their destination wedding. Now I'm turning to you again for an even more serious challenge.

The New York Botanical Garden has been chosen as one of 40 places in New York City to compete in Partners in Preservation, a program to help educate New Yorkers about the importance of historic sites. Through Partners in Preservation, the Botanical Garden has the opportunity to receive a grant for the restoration of the cascade in its historic Rock Garden. The public can support the effort to restore and preserve part of the Garden’s landscape, one of the most beloved and romantic sites in New York, by voting for The New York Botanical Garden at If awarded, the grant will be used to help make the Rock Garden cascade sustainable for future generations. For more information, visit Partners in Preservation is a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express.

One vote per person per day is permitted during the voting period from April 26 through May 21, 2012, at or through Facebook at The top three votegetters at the end of the competition are guaranteed funding for their preservation projects. An advisory committee will award additional grants to a number of other participating sites based on their campaigns and specific need. For visitors interested in discovering or reacquainting themselves with the Rock Garden during the voting period, entry to the Rock Garden will be included in The New York Botanical Garden’s Grounds-Only Pass.

Smash star Katherine McPhee sang "New York, New York" at the press conference announcing the 40 institutions competing for the PiP grants. 

The New York Botanical Garden is one of New York City’s most cherished treasures. The dramatic 2.5-acre Rock Garden is an oasis framed by a tall curtain of mature trees. One of the most exquisite features, the cascade descends gracefully down among the rock and gravel run, which is strewn with naturalized alpine flowers. Built by New Yorkers between 1932–1936, it is one of the most prominent ornamental landscapes to be constructed by the men and women of the Works Progress Administration, the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, which employed millions of unskilled workers to carry out public works projects.

Today, the Rock Garden is enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. An intimate, quiet garden, it provides visitors from the Bronx and around the world with a tranquil respite from the stresses of everyday life. It offers plenty of surprises to those unfamiliar with rock gardens—while there are rocks aplenty, the real treasures of this garden are its thousands of jewel-like alpine flowers, graceful woodland plants, and, of course, the focus of the Partners in Preservation competition―its sparkling cascade, which flows down a stream to a flower-rimmed pond.

Everyone can help continue the Rock Garden’s legacy ensuring that future generations enjoy this New York treasure by voting for The New York Botanical Garden at This project will fund the restoration of the Rock Garden’s cascade making it more sustainable and supportive of its surrounding ecosystem.

American Express, partnering with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is committing $3 million in preservation grants to historic places in New York City through its community-based program, Partners in Preservation. The New York Botanical Garden has the opportunity to receive a grant for historic restoration based on popular vote.

An unforgettable departure from the everyday, The New York Botanical Garden is America’s premier urban garden. Its special exhibitions, seasonal programs, and engaging activities inspire visitors of every age and interest. The Botanical Garden is an ever-changing living museum, and a showplace of natural beauty and wonder. For more information, visit or call 718.817.8700.