Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden

Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden Preserving and interpreting the cultural and horticultural heritage of Flushing, Queens through the experience of an immigrant's 1890s home.
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Our Mission: The Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden, through the experience of an immigrant family’s 1890s home, preserves and interprets the cultural and horticultural heritage of Flushing, Queens and adjacent communities to engage their ever-changing populations. The Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden occupies a home that was purchased by a German immigrant named Conrad Voelcker who emigrated from Germany in 1881. After his death in 1930, the house became the home of his daughter, Theresa Voelker and her husband, Dr. Rudolph Orth. Their daughter, Elisabetha Orth, who lived in the house most of her life, in her will established the organization which now runs the museum. The immediate goal of the organization was the restoration of the Voelker Orth homestead. More than a century old, this house has been the home of a single family for over one hundred years and has changed little since the days of Conrad Voelcker. A distinguishing feature of the Museum is the Victorian-style garden, containing plants that were once regular favorites in the Victorian era. The garden is maintained using eighteenth century propagation methods and gardening techniques, such as hand pruning and the use of natural fertilizers and pesticides. Serving as a sanctuary, the garden’s many varieties of berry bushes and trees attract migrating birds, such as orioles, mockingbirds, and hummingbirds, as well as local species like cardinals and blue jays. In June and July, our butterfly bush attracts monarch butterflies, swallowtails, and other species. Our bee hive is home to a thriving colony of honey bees which produce a modest amount of honey and serve our educational programs. The Museum hosts yearly rotating contemporary fine art exhibitions, performances, lectures, workshops, and educational programs.

Operating as usual

Watch VOM Educator, Emily Gross as she discusses the process of drying and pressing flowers. While on a spring walk, pic...
05/06/2021
VOM Pressed Flowers

Watch VOM Educator, Emily Gross as she discusses the process of drying and pressing flowers.

While on a spring walk, pick some flowers! Safe places to pick flowers are in a park, on a walking trail, in your own garden or backyard, on the street. Wear gloves and wash your hands after touching any plants found outside.

Have fun with this activity and share your creations with us!

https://youtu.be/a7a5dm9LsF8

Watch VOM Educator, Emily Gross as she discusses the process of drying and pressing flowers. While on a spring walk, pick some flowers! Safe places to pick f...

04/22/2021

VOM tour guide and artist, Phyllis Ger, walks us through a découpage activity using recycled objects easily found around the home.

Découpage is the art of decorating objects by gluing materials onto an object's surface. Be as creative as you want with this easy activity. Follow along to see one way to use this method.

Materials:
-Any objects you want to paste on. Typically containers, cartons, or boxes are used.
-Strong adhesive glue (E6000 is used in this video).
-Paintbrush
-Mod Podge
-Cup with Water
-Printed images, photos, any materials you would like to paste on to your object.
-Any extra decorative elements.

Steps:
1) Begin by arranging and pasting images (or whatever materials you chose) on your object.
2) Take your brush and dip into the Mod Podge, spread a thin layer on top of your pasted materials.
3) Dip brush in cup of water and squeeze out the excess on a towel in-between uses.
4) Add any extra decorative elements if you have them.
5) Share your creations with us by tagging @vomuseum. Have fun!

Happy Earth Day from the Voelker Orth Museum! Here are some images from the garden in bloom.   Photo credit: Angela T Ga...
04/22/2021

Happy Earth Day from the Voelker Orth Museum! Here are some images from the garden in bloom. Photo credit: Angela T Gage #earthday #queensgardens

Special thanks to visitor Rebeca Galbinski on capturing the garden at the start of its bloom. Check our her video below ...
04/15/2021
Spring 2021 NYC - Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden - Queens - April 8, 2021

Special thanks to visitor Rebeca Galbinski on capturing the garden at the start of its bloom. Check our her video below and enjoy!

The Voelker Orth Museum welcomes visitors into the garden during our Monday-Friday business hours (10-4pm) and Sunday afternoons from noon-3pm.

House-tours are offered on Sunday & Tuesday, from 1-4pm.

Spring Visit to the Landmark Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden House from 1891 in Flushing Queens New York - April 8, 2021.

We invite you to try our new VOM@Home activity to reflect on this past year.The Museum is re-opening for house tours Ap...
03/16/2021

We invite you to try our new [email protected] activity to reflect on this past year.

The Museum is re-opening for house tours April 11th.
We hope you will soon come to visit! Please see our website (http://vomuseum.org/exhibitions.html) for more information on scheduling a house tour and upcoming workshops this spring.

Memory Boxes
(This activity can also be found on our website at the link below).

Memory boxes capture a special event or period of time to be recalled in future years. This Do-It-Yourself project marks our year living with COVID-19. As we begin to emerge with new treatments, we offer some tips and suggestions for capturing your personal memories of the past year.

Creating a Memory Box
As we start to recover and find ways to re-engage in many of life’s activities more safely, we have a [email protected] project to capture memories, thoughts and feelings about this past year. It can be done as your own activity or as a family or other small group effort. You’ll want to give yourself some time to pause and think about this past year as you work on this.

Often with the passing of time we forget the little things that were important at the moment or were a short-lived set of habits. It has been a year with many new routines, disappointments, losses and even a time for discovering new interests and skills.

A Memory Box is a collection of things to be remembered – both personal and in the world around you. It can contain a variety of materials, from your own writing, things that you’ve read, photos, drawings, everyday objects from the past year. It should remind you of things that were important, made you happy or sad, new experiences or help remember something or someone lost.

Keep it a small group of items (no more than a dozen), held together in nothing much larger than a shoe box. The box itself can be decorated in materials that remind you of this past year.
While you may put this together as a virtual memory collection on a tablet or phone, we urge you to make a version to go into a small box.

Memory Box Instructions
1. Take some time to think about what you’d like to include in your collection before you gather the items. Consider including about a dozen items: small objects, writing, pictures, etc. You can take a picture of something too large to fit into your box.

2. Write a list of everything you’ve collected to put in the box (and put the list in the box, too): Include your name and the date, along with a short description of the items included in the box, and perhaps, why you chose them.

3. Find a box or jar to hold the collection. The container can be decorated or plain but it should be sturdy enough to last for a long time.

4. Find a good place to stow your treasure box safely. Once it is assembled put it away for at least a year.

You can use these tips & suggestions if you’d like some help to get started:
-Include some typical items, like a facemask, in the mix. It will help you remember and share your memories when you open your box in the future.

-Think about a mix of personal memory items and a few things that other people would know.

-Think about important days, your feelings, both good and difficult things you experienced. Did you learn something new? Was there a particular person or thing you missed? Was there a new routine in your life? Were there new sounds or smells? How did things change for you during the year?

-If you have a very delicate item, you can put it in an envelope or other wrapper for safe storage. Before you enclose the item write a note on the outside package: “Handle with care.”

-Things last better if they keep dry. If you have any small desiccant packets from boxed items that you’ve purchased, (these are small packets. 1-3 inches, that contain silica gel), place one or two in the Memory Box. They help absorb any moisture that may accumulate from the air.

-Recording/storage technologies can change over time so it may prove difficult to view at a future date. You may want to replace this item with a new version at a later time.

While this project is meant to be stored away for a future time, perhaps you’ll be will to let us know what you’ve put in your collections and why you’ve chosen those items. Email [email protected] to share.

On this International Women's Day we recognize the Museum’s founder, Elisabetha Orth. Elisabetha Orth was born in 1926 a...
03/08/2021

On this International Women's Day we recognize the Museum’s founder, Elisabetha Orth.

Elisabetha Orth was born in 1926 and lived in her Queens home her entire life. A lifelong companion to her mother, Theresa, Elisabetha was a devoted teacher and active in the Queens community and civic affairs. Her love of education expanded into her love of gardening, birdwatching, the arts and history. Elisabetha ensured her family legacy would live on in bequeathing her home to establish the Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden.

Did you watch any birds last weekend? If not, that's ok! Birdwatching can happen any day you want. Use these tips to hel...
02/16/2021

Did you watch any birds last weekend? If not, that's ok! Birdwatching can happen any day you want. Use these tips to help you get started.

When you're ready to spend time outside birdwatching, use our bingo game to see how many birds you can find!

A helpful app to get you started can be found at https://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/

Unable to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend? Check out our pre-recorded bird feeder cam that was...
02/12/2021
Bird Watching at the Voelker Orth Museum

Unable to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend? Check out our pre-recorded bird feeder cam that was set up on February 8, 2021.

Questions to help guide your watch:
How many birds can you count?
What do you notice about these birds?
Do all of these birds look the same or can you spot any differences?
How are these birds interacting with each other?

Are you participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count? Let us know by tagging @vomuseum or using #VOMUSEUM in your posts!

Get ready to make a bird feeder ornament with us! In this simple activity, you will be able to feed the birds in your ow...
02/12/2021

Get ready to make a bird feeder ornament with us!

In this simple activity, you will be able to feed the birds in your own neighborhood. Here's what you will need to get started.

Materials:
1-2 cups birdseed (we used 2 cups)
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil (we used 2)
Bowl for mixing
Spoon
Scissor
Cookie cutters, molds, or just your hands!
Ribbon, twine, or sturdy string
Baking dish or sheet
Cooking spray or additional oil

Step 1:
Mix 1 cup birdseed and 1 tablespoon coconut oil.
-Adjust based on how many ornaments you want to make. For Example, we used 2 cups birdseed and 2 tablespoons oil, which made 6 ornaments.

Step 2:
Put cookie cutters or molds onto a baking sheet or tray that has been sprayed with cooking oil.

Tip: If you don't have any molds, you can use your hands to mold any shape you like. Make sure to pack the mixture tightly so it doesn't lose shape.

Step 3:
Push the mixture into your molds tightly.

Step 4:
Take the back of your spoon or any other object to poke holes in the middle of each mold. Make the sure the holes go all the way through to the bottom.

Step 5:
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
When they are ready to be removed from the fridge, let them sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften.

Step 6:
Push molds out slowly to reveal your bird feeder shape. Take your ribbon or twine and string though the hole and tie a knot. You're ready to hang!

Hang your ornament away from a window, preferably near a tree or shrub. Be patient while you wait for the birds to find your treat. It might take them awhile to realize what you have left out for them is food.

If you are participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count, take 10 minutes to watch your birds, count how many you see and report to birdcount.org to participate!

02/11/2021
The Great Backyard Bird Count

Learn how you can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count by watching the video below and going to https://www.birdcount.org/participate/ to find out more information!

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an easy way to help the birds you see everyday. With just 15 minutes of your time, you can help scientists better understand...

We are inviting you to participate in care and observation of birds this winter. Join us in celebrating the The Great Ba...
02/11/2021

We are inviting you to participate in care and observation of birds this winter.

Join us in celebrating the The Great Backyard Bird Count February 12-15.

All around the world, people spend time in some of their favorite places watching and counting all of the birds they can see. This weekend, become a Citizen Scientist by taking 10-15 minutes to observe birds in your own neighborhood.

We hope that you will join the Museum, the Audubon Society and Cornell University’s Bird Lab in participating as Citizen Scientists this weekend.

You’ll need to do a bit of preparation to participate. Think about the location where you want to do your counting. It can be where you live, in a nearby park, or a place you often hear birds chirping. The birdcount.org website offers tips and resources to help new and experienced birdwatchers, including apps to identify birds while out in the field.

Your observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations.

The Museum is also offering a new [email protected] activity and bird observation tips beginning tomorrow, February 12. In this simple activity, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions to make a bird ornament feeder. All you need is bird seed and other materials found in your own kitchen. Get ready to feed the birds and make observations while they enjoy your meal.

About the Great Backyard Bird Count: Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was the first online citizen science project, also referred to as community science, to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real time. Birds Canada joined the project in 2009. In 2013, it became a global project, providing data into eBird, the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science project.

“Image Courtesy of the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove, Montgomery County Audubon Collection, and Zebra Publishing”

House Tours and Garden Hours Update: Winter 2021The Museum is offering a modified schedule through the winter for the pu...
01/20/2021

House Tours and Garden Hours Update: Winter 2021

The Museum is offering a modified schedule through the winter for the public to visit. We will give priority to individuals who make reservations for house tours. We can accommodate drop-in guests, space permitting. Please check our website for house tour dates.

Contact us at 718-359-6227 or email [email protected] for further information, and to make a reservation.

Garden Hours
The Museum is providing free garden access on a regular schedule Tuesday – Fridays, 10am – 4pm, and Sundays from noon-3pm. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing in the garden.

Museum Policies
All visitors are required to wear masks, use hand sanitizer, sign-in and refrain from sitting on the furnishings. We’ve limited the number of 2-4 visitors at a time.

The museum tour is accessed by the side door through the driveway. We are using the kitchen entry for visitors to allow for more space for sign-in and sanitizing.

There is no admission fee to the Museum, however donations are welcome and appreciated.
Suggested donation of $5.

Join us for a safely distanced workshop in the garden and annex this Sunday, December 13 from 1-4pm to pot-up and take-a...
12/11/2020

Join us for a safely distanced workshop in the garden and annex this Sunday, December 13 from 1-4pm to pot-up and take-away a Schefflera plant!

If you don’t want to put your hands in the soil – we’ll have some pre-potted plants for sale and a supply of paper-whites and hyacinth bulbs to grow indoors. There’s also a small supply of honey (2oz & 8oz) from this year’s harvest for sale.

We are also open for limited (3-5 people) house tours.

All ages welcome. Suggested $5 donation for the workshop. Please don't forget your mask!

Join the Voelker Orth Museum, along with five other historic Queens sites, on YouTube Live for the 33rd annual Holly Tou...
11/30/2020
Holly Tour 2020

Join the Voelker Orth Museum, along with five other historic Queens sites, on YouTube Live for the 33rd annual Holly Tour, Sunday, December 6 from 3:00 - 5:00pm.

2020 marks the 375th anniversary of Flushing! At the time of its founding by the Dutch, it was known as Vlissingen, however, it received its modern moniker in 1683 after the English took over New Amsterdam. We will be exploring some of that long heritage of Flushing across our six sites in our Holly Tour program.

Holly Tour is a tradition of an afternoon of arts and crafts, musical performances, and historic tours. This year's Annual Holly Tour is virtual - and better than ever. Explore historic Flushing from the warmth & comfort of your own home! Each site is putting on a show of their own, and each show has something fun and unique!

The 2020 virtual program will feature a bonanza of local culture and history, and we hope that you will join us. This event will be broadcast live, and each site will present their unique live content & answer any questions you might have.

Join via YouTube Live! You will not need an account to watch, but if you want to chat with us, you will need one. Links will be distributed the morning of the event. We will also provide translated transcripts for the pre-recorded content of this program in Spanish, Mandarin, and Korean language. Make yourself some hot chocolate and simply click the link to watch.

Reservations: Eventbrite
Date: Sunday, December 6, 2020
Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST
Price: $ 5

Our 33rd Annual Holly Tour! This year, we're digital, so take tours of 6 historic sites in Flushing, Queens. Art, History, Crafts, and more!

Our next activity asks that you use your imagination to create your own plant! Use the guided prompts to help your imagi...
11/18/2020

Our next activity asks that you use your imagination to create your own plant! Use the guided prompts to help your imagination overflow with ideas.

Don't forget to tag us at #VOkids and #vomuseum to share your unique creations!

Do you notice using your senses when you are outside? What are those senses and how do we use them? We're back with a ne...
11/02/2020

Do you notice using your senses when you are outside? What are those senses and how do we use them? We're back with a new family activity to enjoy on a walk outside.
Take your time, take notes, or take pictures! Happy November!

10/19/2020
Beeswax Wraps

Beeswax wraps are a reusable, eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap. Use yours to wrap food containers, fruits and veggies, or anything else that needs to be saved for later!

Follow Alyssa for the instructions, and let us know how yours turned out!

What will you need?
-Beeswax Pellets (1/2 oz)
-Jojoba oil (1 tablespoon)
-Pine Gum Rosin (3/4 oz)
-100% cotton fabric
-Paintbrush (use an old one that you are okay with throwing out after)
-Pencil
-Scissor
-Container for tracing your fabric size
-Baking sheet and parchment paper

Address

149-19 38th Ave
New York, NY
11354

By Subway: No. 7 train to Main Street; then take the Q15 from Roosevelt Avenue to 150th Street and Roosevelt Ave or the Q13 and Q28 from 39th Avenue to 149th Street and Northern Blvd; then walk to 38th Ave By LIRR: Port Washington line to Murray Hill Station; then walk to 38th Avenue.

Opening Hours

Tuesday 13:00 - 16:00
Sunday 13:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(718) 359-6227

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Comments

Voelker Orth Museum Garden!
What a lovely gem of NYC's cultural history! A living monument of what a German family built & contributed to this city. Thank you to entire staff for all the work they do to maintain and promote this beautiful place & its gardens. The on-site doyen, Phyllis, was so gracious in providing an in-depth tour of the restoration of this 'painted lady' Victorian home that recalls the pastoral history of Flushing, Queens. Definitely worth a visit!
At the victorian tea party July 2019
Hello! We came to your gingerbread house event a couple of years back and it was fantastic. Are you hosting one this year?