New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden to officially reopen this weekend

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A special portion of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden is officially reopening this week.

The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden, which closed in March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, will begin to welcome visitors again on Saturday. It will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for,” said Aileen Fuchs, president and CEO of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden. “We’re thrilled to make this local treasure available once more for our community to find peace and wellness, and to enjoy the dynamic culture represented by the garden’s details and story.”

Snug Harbor staff members are urging visitors to maintain a distance of six feet from other guests, wear a mask while in the garden, practice good hygiene and stay home if they are sick.

Tickets, which are on sale inside Cottage E, are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors (65+) and students, and free for children 5 and under and active military members through the Blue Star program. Entrance into Snug Harbor is free and there is ample parking.

The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden officially opened in June 1999 and is one of only two authentic classical Chinese scholars gardens in the United States. Materials were shipped to Staten Island in the spring of 1998, when a team of 40 Chinese artists and artisans from Suzhou constructed the garden. It has since attracted thousands and been the center of private events along with film and photo shoots.

This time last year, the CBS television show “Madam Secretary” filmed inside the garden.

The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden is located in the southwest corner of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terr. in Livingston, near the Healing Garden and the Connie Gretz Secret Garden. For more information, visit

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Trump officially names Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court nominee at White House

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump officially named Justice Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee in a White House event Saturday afternoon, setting up a contentious nomination fight in the final few weeks of the presidential election.

“Today it is my honor to nominate one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds to the Supreme Court. She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution,” Trump said.

Barrett, accompanied by her husband and seven children, joined Trump in the Rose Garden for the event.

“Should I be confirmed, I will be mindful of who came before me. The flag of the Untied States is still flying at half staff to mark the end of a great American life,” said Barrett, honoring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died eight days ago at 87.

The family of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a leading voice of conservative jurisprudence who Barrett clerked for in the 1990s, attended the nominating event on Saturday. Evangelist Franklin Graham, Attorney General Bill Barr, Republican Senators Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, and Josh Hawley of Missouri, among others, were also seated in the Rose Garden for the announcement.

If confirmed, Barrett, 48, would be the fifth woman ever to serve on the Supreme Court and the youngest member of the current court. A devout Catholic, Barrett, who has the backing of evangelicals, would be the court’s sixth Catholic justice and would also be Trump’s third appointee, joining Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Her presence would cement a 6-3 conservative majority as she replaces Ginsburg, one of the court’s most outspoken liberals who died eight days ago at 87.

Barrett was appointed by Trump to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Indiana in 2017 and confirmed in the Senate by a vote of 55-43. Before that, Barrett worked briefly in private practice and taught for 15 years at Notre Dame Law School, where she earned her law degree.

Republican leaders in the Senate have said they have the votes to confirm Barrett’s nomination this year, likely before Election Day. That would give Barrett less than 40 days to undergo an updated FBI background check and for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing and a committee vote — all necessary steps in the confirmation process.

Senate hearings — which typically begin months after someone is nominated — could start as soon as October 12, according to a Republican aide familiar with the matter, an aggressive timeline that would leave only days between Barrett’s nomination and the start of the confirmation process.

While the hearing schedule timing is fluid, if it holds, would all but ensure that the Supreme Court stays front and center in the remaining days of the presidential campaign as Trump continues to trail Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the polls and is grasping for an opportunity change the dynamics of the race in his favor.

The timeline is also likely to

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Houston Botanic Garden Officially Opens, Showcasing Bayou City’s Biodiversity in New Living Museum for Plants – Press Release

HOUSTON–(Business Wire)–Houstonians no longer have to take the Gulf Freeway all the way to Galveston to escape to an island, now that the Houston Botanic Garden, the city’s new living museum for plants, has opened its gates today to the public, just east of I-45 South on Park Place Blvd. Approximately half of the Garden’s 132 acres – which was once a municipal golf course – are on the Island, a feature completely surrounded by the original Sims Bayou meander on three sides, and the later Sims channel to its south.

The Houston Botanic Garden has transformed the Island, and the adjacent South Gardens on the opposite side of the Sims channel, into an oasis of learning, discovery, and horticultural beauty, with outdoor gallery spaces displaying a collection of tropical, sub-tropical, and arid plants from around the world to showcase the biodiversity that thrives along the Texas Gulf Coast.

“Adding a world-class botanic garden to enhance the breadth and depth of Houston’s cultural offerings has been a long time in the making,” said Claudia Gee Vassar, president and general counsel of the Houston Botanic Garden. “We believe the benefits of an extensive outdoor museum like the Houston Botanic Garden will be especially desirable at a time when so many are looking to engage with and be inspired by nature.”

Through its design and programming, the Garden, a collaboration with West 8, an award-winning international landscape designer, seeks to enrich lives through discovery, education, and the conservation of plants and the natural environment.

“The intent of the site design is to seek balance in all aspects, from planting and soils, through topography and materials—the careful juxtaposition of order and chaos that is at the heart of enduring gardens,” said Donna Bridgeman-Rossi, PLA, director of implementation, West 8 NY. “With this being Houston’s first garden of this kind, it was exciting to be working with a client group that not only expects best practice but is open to the complexities required to push status quo into new territory or specification.”

Each time visitors come to the Houston Botanic Garden, they will exchange the bustle of the city for the enveloping serenity of multiple features, which include:

  • Global Collection Garden: Three acres of regionally themed zones that demonstrate the wide variety of diverse and beautiful plants from around the world that flourish in Houston’s climate.
  • Culinary Garden: An artistic display of edible and medicinal plants – many of which visitors could grow in their own yards – that have served as a basis for economic and cultural exchange across the history of the world.
  • Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden: A sensory-engaging area that presents opportunities for families to engage with nature in a variety of ways, including a boardwalk maze around a lagoon; simple water machines, and nature play structures crafted from trees that previously grew on the property.
  • Woodland Glade: An intimate-yet-open space that visitors can rent – beginning later in the fall – to host weddings and other celebrations under a
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