Ellen Weatherholt began her horticultural adventures on the windy prairies of Oklahoma and Kansas, and is presently immersed in the world of public horticulture along the east coast. In addition to her Public Garden Leadership studies at Cornell Plantations, Ellen worked as a gardener for the Parks and Recreation Department in her Oklahoma hometown, as well as developing her public horticulture background at Morris Arboretum, Duke Gardens, the Tulsa Zoo, and the Oklahoma State University Wheat Breeding and Improvement Program. Prior to studying at Cornell, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture Science from Oklahoma State University in 2007, and is a proud graduate of Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri, with an Associate in Science in 2004.
While at Cornell, she geared her coursework to complement her horticultural knowledge, learning more about the management, administration, finances, visitor services, operational needs, and other nuances of not-for-profit organizations. Whenever possible, Ellen spent time frequenting local u-pick farms and orchards in addition to leading local school groups on tours of the Cornell Orchards.
Ellen’s Action Project explores the sustainability in use at public gardens, as well as the many ways each garden communicates those concepts to the visitor. This research has expanded her knowledge of sustainability principles as well as increased her respect for public gardens as cooperative organizations driven by inspiring and achievable mission statements.
Recently, Ellen spent two busy summers working at the front desk of the newly constructed Nevin Welcome Center at Cornell Plantations. Ellen enjoyed combining her love of plants with a high level of interaction with garden visitors, and looks forward to continuing to work in visitor and guest services. Ellen aims to continue working as an advocate for public gardens as well as for sustainable development, and hopes she can continue to learn and grow in many beautiful garden settings during her career.