Clark Botanic Garden - read more 9 -19 - 15
It was a beautiful September day, I was close by, and had some free time before an appointment. I decided to visit the Clark Botanic Garden. This was yet another location I had not been to in many years and could not remember anything about it.
It's quite easy to get here from both the Northern State Parkway and Long Island Expressway. I pulled into the paved parking lot and found three handicapped spaces (all van accessible) next to the entrance. A lone bench is located here, along the fence.
As I walked through the open gates I noticed that there was no admission booth, only a small box asking for a donation. How nice!
A paved path, bordered by beautiful plantings, beckoned me on. As I walked along I came to a garden on my left which several families were working in. Near the garden was a small picnic area.
Clark Garden is a twelve acre living musuem and education facility that was bequeathed by Greenville Clark in memory of his wife, Fanny, to remain a sanctuary for birds, plants and visitors. (website)
The Garden's brochure calls it ""... a living museum of trees, shrubs, and garden plants, set among three brook-fed ponds, linked by sweeping lawns and gracefully curving parths with ever-changing gardens.""
As I walked along admiring the beautiful settings, I realized that the paved walkways do not go very far. Only about 1/10 of a mile is paved. Other than that, dirt and gravel is underfoot. You can get to the shop and restrooms on the paved path. In order to get to the single-occupancy, handicapped-accessible restroom (which also serves as the men's restroom) one must enter the building through an employee workroom in the house. A sign lets you know where to go. If one cannot manage the one step up to the gift shop, you can get there the same way as going to the handicapped restroom, then continue through the building to the shop.
Take note that the area is a bit hilly in places. That hilliness is noticeable in that there are five gravel steps up and then another five concrete steps down to reach the non-handicapped restrooms.
The brochure says that this is a ""serene, tranquil oasis for all to enjoy."" It is worth a visit even if you can't manage all of it. Benches throughout provide places to stop and linger at some of the specialty gardens and ponds. Some picnic tables can be found near the restrooms and gift shop.
As always, we at Destination:Accessible advise you to check a venue's website, www.clarkbotanic.org, when planning a visit, to ""know before you go.""