The park was established following a proposal by Parks Director Albert Brodersen, who had the fallow irrigated fields laid out as Berlin’s central educational garden in 1909. Pre-existing elements, such as the small and large Zingerteich ponds and local Brandenburg forest plants and trees were incorporated into its design and agricultural fields established. Apple trees line the meadows and ornamental shrubs flank the main paths. The park forest was planted from 1911 onwards. At that time one of its main purposes was supplying Berlin schools with plant material for botanical and drawing classes.
During both World Wars, Berliners were kept supplied with agricultural products grown on the park’s fields. After 1945 the park was refurbished, becoming a central station for young scientific researchers, and its wildlife reserve, aviaries and stables were extended. The Humboldt University used the park from 1977 until German Reunification, after which the park’s 1920s greenhouses were reconstructed, new tropical houses and glasshouses built and the arboretum of European trees, also established in the 1920s, extended. In 1994 Berlin’s Senate Authority declared the park a public park and elevated it to the status of a historic landmark garden.
In early 2011, Grün Berlin GmbH took over development and operation of the Botanical Park from the Pankow district authority. A usage concept has been drafted for the park’s future development that plans a contemporary revival of its original educational purpose. Additional recreational and health and fitness activities will enhance this green public space’s attractiveness for visitors.