Brooklyn Botanic Garden suspends science program

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The Brooklyn Botanic Garden Herbarium includes over 300,000 specimens of preserved plants. The collection is worldwide in scope, with concentration on plants of the greater New York area and cultivated plants. (source)

This morning I found a message on one of the e-mail lists I subscribe to that included the following news:

It is with sadness to let you know that the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has suspended their science program including the layoffs of the botanists there.  Cuts in funding for the garden plus structural problems with the building have put the science program on hold until further notice. The herbarium will be put in storage with little opportunity for access. This is a major blow to the garden and to LIISMA and our use of the garden for information on exotic and invasive species of our area. The Garden let us know that if you would like to express your concern about the situation you can contact the president Scot Medbury at 718-623-7269 <tel:718-623-7269> or scotmedbury@bbg.org 

This is very sad. Herbaria have been the foundation of a vast array of important biodiversity research, and the herbarium of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has been an important resource in the northeastern United States. I don't know anything about the financial situation of the Garden, and it's possible that its leaders had no other choice, but that doesn't make me any less sad.