Botanical Garden
New York Botanical Garden (Credit: King of Hearts / Wikimedia)

For decades, the New York Botanical Garden has been switching its vehicle fleet from diesel to cleaner sources.

In 1997, the garden installed one of the first compressed natural gas stations in the Bronx. It uses gas delivered by the utility and compresses it into fuel that powers the garden’s open-air trams.

Mark Cupkovic, Chief Sustainability Officer, says using natural gas is better for the climate and for visitors.

Cupkovic: “The CO2 emissions are reduced by 50 percent compared to that of diesel. Plus, there’s nothing odorous about the emissions, so it just makes the tour for the tram visitors and the walking visitors that much better.”

(Credit: Marlon Co/New York Botanical Garden)

The garden’s vehicle fleet also includes electric golf carts. And last year, it received a grant from the state for two electric trucks. Staff use the trucks on-site, and for deliveries and pickups around the city.

Cupkovic says the Garden is a scientific institution that’s committed to preserving plants and educating the public about the natural world, so cutting carbon pollution is an important part of that mission.

Cupkovic: “It’s a focus of my work. And it’s a focus of the garden’s work. And going forward we want to continue to be a leader in this area in New York City.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Jan Ellen Spiegel

Jan Ellen Spiegel is a long-time Connecticut-based journalist whose career has included radio, television, print, and digital reporting. She has won awards for her reporting on energy, environment, climate...