NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Brooklyn Botanic Garden is ramping up a battle over sunlight.

Tuesday, the garden added a new exhibit to gain supporters against proposed towers that they say could cast a shadow over some of their plants.

“[The towers] would cast shadows on these plants for up to three hours in the morning, which would be detrimental to their growth,” Mark Fisher, vice president of horticulture and facilities, told CBS2’s Alice Gainer. “We’d start losing flowering of these plants. They would start to elongate because they wouldn’t have enough light, so they’d start to weaken. We’d have to deal with a lot more of insect disease issues, and also some of these plants are endangered.”

A “Fight for Sunlight” exhibit opened at Brooklyn Botanic Garden on July 30, 2019, to protest plans for two nearby high-rise towers. (Credit: CBS2)

The new exhibit, called “Fight for Sunlight,” aims to show visitors the effect they say the proposed towers would have on the garden.

Garden president Scot Medbury says the towers would be 40 stories tall, built just 150 feet from the conservatories, gardens and greenhouses.

RELATED STORY: Battle Brewing To Keep Brooklyn Botanic Garden Out Of The Shadows

The garden is urging people to sign a petition and asking local elected officials to reject the developers’ rezoning bid to allow for the taller buildings.

Last March, a hearing was held and more than 100 people gave testimony.

A spokesperson for the developer, the Continuum Company, says it’s attempted to meet with the garden over concerns for more than a year, but they won’t. They also say a detailed shadows analysis is currently underway.

Much of the proposed development, they say, would be for affordable housing.

“This is a hard situation because it’s wonderful, we need more affordable housing in the city, but then we also have these beautiful landmarks that make the city what it is, so I guess I’m torn myself,” resident Janette Agbetor said.

Both sides are hoping for an answer from the city in the coming months.


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