Cascadilla Gorge is scheduled to open next June. Here is what is happening now to keep that date on track:
New gate at the “lower” gorge entrance: A custom-made iron gate was installed at the gorge entrance at the Treman Triangle off of Linn Street. It will allow us to close the trail each winter when trail conditions are unsafe. Designed by local artisan Durand VanDoren, the 1200 pound gate was inspired by the gorge’s cascading falls, and oak leaves and acorns found on an historic Cascadilla Glen Trail plaque.
New staircase under the Stewart Avenue bridge: The staircase leading to the iconic stone bridge that crosses the creek will soon follow a new, safer path. The staircase was designed to fit into the gorge landscape, provide a more direct view of the adjacent waterfall, and move visitors farther from an overhanging, unsafe gorge wall. A dam (shown above) was built with sandbags and concrete blocks and a water pump was used to keep the water level low to build the new stairs.
Stabilizing the 150-year-old retaining wall near historic Eddy Gate: This 60 foot tall structure was constructed to stabilize and retain the gorge wall after stone was quarried from the gorge to construct Cascadilla Hall.
Completing this gorge restoration project is one part of several recommendations to increase gorge safety approved by Cornell President David Skorton. Read about the additional recommendations in the December 4th Ithaca Journal article, "Cornell committee proposes safety steps for gorge."
WHAT: “Glad to have Evolved”
WHEN: Wednesday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Statler Hall Auditorium
ITHACA, N.Y. – The New York Times best selling author of Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice To All Creation, Olivia Judson, is set to speak on Wednesday, October 5 at 7:30 pm as part of Cornell Plantations 25th Annual Fall Lecture Series. Judson is a renowned evolutionary biologist, award winning science journalist, past columnist for The New York Times, Nature, and The Economist, a contributor to PBS’ Nova and is based at Imperial College in London.
Living beings profoundly shape our planet—bacteria precipitate clouds and alter the magnetic fields of rocks. Organisms also shape each other to drive evolutionary change: the bee shapes the flower, the cheetah shapes the gazelle. In this wide-ranging lecture, Olivia Judson considers the implications of evolution for understanding Earth and ourselves, celebrating humans as part of nature’s pageant.
“We are thrilled to have Olivia Judson as part of this series,” stated Sonja Skelly, director of education at Cornell Plantations. “Dr. Judson’s lecture promises to be provocative and one that will change the way people think about the planet and themselves.” Plantations has partnered with the Boyce Thompson Institute to bring Dr. Judson to Ithaca.
Olivia Judson is an evolutionary biologist and writer based at Imperial College, London. Her award-winning book, Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex, has been translated into more than 15 languages and was made into a TV show of which she was the host. She has contributed to The New York Times, Natural History, The Guardian, The Economist, and PBS’ Nova and is at work on her next book. Read more about her work at www.drtatiana.com and the New York Times.
Cornell Plantations is the botanical gardens, arboretum, and natural areas of Cornell University, and is a member of Ithaca’s Discovery Trail partnership. Plantations is open to the public year-round, free of charge, during daylight hours. For more information call 607-255-2400. Find us on Facebook.
Due to unexpected maintenance, the Nevin Welcome Center will be closed today, September 15th. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Alice Hunt has been sewing for over 50 years. It is one way she expresses her love of flowers. The combination of her love of sewing and her love of flowers shines through in her display of quilts in the Nevin Welcome Center lobby. It is a menagerie of vibrant colors and fine handwork you don't want to miss.
"A Tribute to Flora," a collection of quilted wall hangings, is on display through the end of October.
CORNELL PLANTATIONS ANNOUNCES 25th ANNUAL FALL LECTURE SERIES
The Fall Lecture Series is kicked off with a lecture and garden party on August 24, 2011
Cornell Plantations announces its line-up for their 25th Annual Fall Lecture Series, which begins on August 24, 2011, and will run every other Wednesday until November 2. The first lecture will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Call Alumni Auditorium in Kennedy Hall and will be followed by a garden party in the botanical gardens of Cornell Plantations. All remaining lectures will take place in Statler Hall Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
The lecture series will feature Cornell professor Molly Hite and photographer David McDonald, renowned plantsman and explorer Dan Hinkley, historian David Stradling, The New York Times bestselling author Olivia Judson, master tea blender and Cornell University alumnus Michael Harney, and author and influential garden blogger Michele Owens. The Fall Lecture Series is free and open to the public, and is also offered as a one-credit class to Cornell Students (HORT 4800).
Cornell University professor of English Molly Hite and photographer David McDonald kick off the lecture series on August 24 at 5:30 with the William H. and Jane Torrence Harder Lecture entitled Literature, Life, Gardens: The Influence of Vita Sackville-West.
"Flowering Moments" is a display of beautiful botanical watercolors by Paula DiSanto Bensadoun.
Paula states, "The joys of admiring nature’s work are tempered by the time it takes to look long and carefully at the intricacy and beauty of blossoms whose duration is often very brief. The life of a flower is always changing and the challenge lies in capturing the moments that leave us with good memories. I have tried to portray those moments."
Come experience these flowering moments for yourselves during Welcome Center hours in August!
The gorges of Cornell distinguish the campus’ natural beauty, but the dangers inherent within them means that visitors need to RESPECT the gorges. We ask that all visitors be aware of the danger, hazards, and the power of nature in the gorges. Please respect these natural areas, follow all posted signs, and take all precautions possible to protect yourself – failure to do so could cost you your life.
To learn more about how you can be safe while visiting the gorges, please go here.
To learn about alternate safe swimming locations, please go here
This year, you can enjoy two Shakespeare performances in the F. R. Newman Arboretum.
One of Shakespeare's greatest romantic comedies, "As You Like It," will be performed on July 7, 9, 15, 21, and 23.
Returning to the Arboretum stage, the popular "A Midsummer Night's Dream" will be performed on July 8, 10, 14, 16, 22 and 24.
All performances will take place from 6:00 -8:30 p.m. in the Jackson Grove in the F. R. Newman Arboretum. View our calendar for more details.
The Ithaca Shakespeare Company is busily building the stage for their performances!
If you are able, we encourage you to pay a visit to the F. R. Newman Arboretum. You will not be disappointed. Make sure to stop at Newman Overlook to capture a panoramic view of the dozens of flowering trees dispersed throughout the Arboretum.
This has been a wonderful spring for abundant flowering of trees and shrubs. But to what degree has the abundant rainfall contributed to this floriferous show? The answer is really very little. Spring flowering trees and shrubs bloom from flower buds that were set the previous year. So it was really the weather conditions last spring and summer that determined the number of floral buds on individual plants. Another factor is the severity and length of cold this past winter. Although we had some very uncomfortable nights that dipped below zero, we did not have a protracted period of sub-zero temperatures and therefore very few flower buds were winter killed. Enjoy the show!
CORNELL PLANTATIONS CELEBRATES THE OPENING OF THE BRIAN C. NEVIN WELCOME CENTER WITH A FAMILY CELEBRATION ON MAY 22
- Tours of the Rhododendron Collection, 11:30 & 1:30
- Tours of the Nevin Welcome Center's Green Features, 12:30 & 2:30
- Live music by Farm Animal 12:00 - 3:00
- Children's activities
- Face Painting
- Exhibits & "Ask a Gardener"
- Botanical arts demonstration
Come celebrate the new ultra-sustainable Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center located in the beautiful botanical gardens of the Cornell Plantations on Sunday, May 22 from 11 am to 4 pm. There will be fun for the whole family - lively music, a "green" tour of the building, tours of our gardens, exhibits, refreshments, and fun activities for kids of all ages! The grand opening celebration is free and open to the public. The days music will be provided by Farm Animal – fiddle music of the American Southeast.
“We are thrilled to be able to share this celebration with the Ithaca community,” stated Billy Kepner of Cornell Plantations. “The completion of the Welcome Center represents 10 years of transformations for Plantations -- we now have a central location to greet our visitors, orient them, and provide them with amenities like they’ve never had before at Plantations. All within the glass and steel walls of this amazing ultra-sustainable building!”
The Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center is named for Brian C. Nevin ’50, at the request of the primary benefactor, C. Sherwood “Woody” Southwick Jr. The Welcome Center was dedicated on October 28, 2010 and was opened to visitors in February of this year. The Nevin Welcome Center is designed to achieve Gold LEED certification, and is also a significant step forward in Plantations’ and Cornell’s commitment to sustainability.
Baird Sampson Neuert Architects, the designers of the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center at the Cornell Plantations, have received a “Design Excellence” award from the Ontario Architects’ Association for their work on the Nevin Welcome Center. This is the second such designation the Plantations’ Nevin Welcome Center has received. Earlier in the year the architects received an Award of Excellence from Canadian Architect magazine and online journal.
Cornell Plantations is the botanical gardens, arboretum, and natural areas of Cornell University, and is a member of Ithaca’s Discovery Trail partnership. Plantations is open to the public year-round, free of charge, during daylight hours. For more information call 607-255-2400, or visit cornellplantations.org. Find us on Facebook.
Scheduled for May 6th, 2011, the Friday preceding Mother’s Day weekend, National Public Gardens Day is a national day of awareness in which communities nationwide are invited to visit and learn about the important role their public gardens play in promoting environmental stewardship and awareness, plant and water conservation, and education. Now in its third year celebrating America’s public gardens, National Public Gardens Day was created in partnership between the American Public Gardens Association (APGA) and irrigation product and service provider, Rain Bird.
In celebration of botanical gardens, arboreta, conservatories, educational gardens and historical landscapes, many of the APGA’s 500 member institutions will mark the day with special events and activities for schools, families and thousands of visitors. Cornell Plantations will be offering free Gimme! Coffee to all of its visitors, along with a 10% discount on all Plantations branded merchandise for non-members and an additional 5% discount for members!
“We are very pleased to participate for the first time in this national celebration of public gardens,” stated Dr. Don Rakow, the E. N. Wilds director of Cornell Plantations. “In addition to exploring our early-season gardens, we hope that visitors that day will become acquainted with our wonderful new Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center.”
Art Exhibit "Changing Vistas: Arboretum Landscapes in Pastels" by Carol Abitabilo Ast on display in the Nevin Welcome Center during May and June
Carol Ast's paintings have been appreciated for the feelings of peace and serenity they convey. Her reverence for the natural world is evident in her realistic portrayals of the scenes around her, whose location she often identifies to enable people to see it through “her” eyes, and to provide future generations with a view into the past. A number of paintings in this display are landscapes of Cornell Plantations including the painting below titled, "Midnight Fire Dogwoods Along Grossman Pond."
She has exhibited in exhibitions of the Pastel Society of the West Coast and the Pastel Society of New Mexico, and in galleries in Maine and New York. Recently her paintings were included in the group show Works from O'Keeffe's Backyard at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico. In August, 2010, Ast had a solo show (The Sky's the Limit) in Ithaca, New York, at the State of the Art Gallery. Currently one of her pastel paintings has been accepted into the 7th Northeast National Pastel Exhibition at Old Forge, NY, which will open later this month.
Please visit her website at www.carolast.com for more information and an extensive view of her works, including the August solo show.
Architects behind the Plantations’ Welcome Center receives a ‘Design Excellence’ award from the Ontario Architects’ Association
Baird Sampson Neuert Architects, the designers of the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center, will receive a “Design Excellence” award from the Ontario Architects’ Association in May for their work on this dynamic new building. This is the second such designation the Plantations’ Nevin Welcome Center has received. Earlier in the year the architects received an Award of Excellence from Canadian Architect magazine and online journal.
Fifteen new buildings in Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Orillia, Montréal, Kitchener, Vancouver, and Ithaca (New York) have been recognized as leading examples of architecture by receiving ‘Design Excellence’ awards. There were 150 submissions and the Jury unanimously agreed on the consistent high level of quality in the 2011 winning projects.
(Architect Jon Neuert speaking at the October, 2010 dedication of the Nevin Welcome Center)
The Nevin Welcome Center is named for Brian C. Nevin ’50, at the request of the primary benefactor, C. Sherwood “Woody” Southwick Jr. A grand opening celebration for the Ithaca community will be held May 22, 2011 from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM. There will be fun for the whole family - lively music, a "green" tour of the building, tours of our gardens, exhibits, refreshments, and fun activities for kids!
During the spring semester of 2010, fifteen students in the Print Media Special Topics class “Turfs: Invasive Species as Art” at Cornell University, taught by Gregory Page, assistant professor of art, visited several Cornell Plantations Natural Areas to study the impacts and natural history of invasive species. The work resulting from that trip is on display at the Nevin Welcome Center during the Month of April.
The students initially produced drawings of various specimens during the visit, and then produced three portfolios of traditional lithographs printed from stones in a limited edition of twenty impressions.
“We’re very excited to be able to showcase student artwork in the gallery space here at the Nevin Welcome Center,” stated Diane Miske, visitor services coordinator at the Cornell Plantations. “It’s our goal to focus on exhibitions that relate to our mission and serve our community, and that’s exactly what “Expending Turf” does!”
Concurrently, “Motifs from My Backyard” by Gregory Page will be on display in the Ten-Eyck room of the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center.
There will be an opening reception for these exhibitions at the welcome center on Friday, April 8th from 7:00 to 9:00 pm The reception is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served. The reception will include a screening of “Motifs from My Back Yard” a film by Gregory Page Collaborating with videographer Lindsey Glover, which focuses on Page's use of horticultural forms as motifs featuring the gardens and lithographic techniques.
The funds for this exhibition and DVD were provided by the Dean’s Professional Development Funds in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning
Cornell Plantations and the Department of Natural Resources are organizing a workshop aimed at training volunteers to identify and report new hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) infestations. This newly arrived invasive insect pest threatens eastern hemlock trees and the biodiversity they support, causing a cascade of environmental changes for some amphibians, fish, invertebrates, and plants in response to the increased light and warmer temperatures. Hemlock woolly adelgids were first reported in the central Finger Lakes region in mid-2008, but now inhabit at least 25 local sites. Early detection of new sites is a high priority, and local conservation groups are organizing volunteer surveys as a critical first step in managing this devastating invasive species.
The workshops will feature a presentation by Mark Whitmore on the adelgid’s biology and the threat it poses to local hemlock forests. Participants will visit Beebe Lake to observe hemlock woolly adelgids first-hand and gain experience in detection, monitoring, and reporting protocols.
Participants will also have the opportunity to volunteer in the “Adopt-a-Hemlock” program to conduct surveys and report new infestations in local hemlock forests. Photo by Mark Whitmore.
The workshop will be held on Saturday, March 19th from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at Plantations’ new Nevin Welcome Center in the Botanical Garden, located at One Plantations Road on the Cornell campus.
Pre-registration is not required. Visit here for more information on hemlock woolly adelgid or to report new occurrences.
Art exhibit "In a Favorable Light" on display at the Nevin Welcome Center now through the end of March
"In a Favorable Light" is a display of 11 color photographs by F. Robert Wesley.
Robert Wesley is staff botanist at Cornell Plantations, working principally in the Natural Areas Program, and an instructor in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell. He has a deep, lifelong interest in field photography, particularly of natural, history subjects. This group of images represents some of his recent work, and is entirely digital. Many are flowers.
This art exhibition is the first in a series of exhibitions by local artists, to be shown in the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center in the Botanical Garden.
Donald A. Rakow, the E.N. Wilds director of Cornell Plantations, and Sharon A. Lee, consultant and former deputy director of the American Public Gardens Association, have co-authored Public Garden Management, the first textbook to be published that covers the establishment and operation of public gardens.
According to Rakow, “We undertook this project to address the pressing need for a fundamental text on all aspects and functions of the many types of public gardens, including botanical gardens, arboreta, display gardens, historic landscapes, zoos, and conservatories.”
Long recognized as museums with living collections of plants, public gardens today are on the front lines of conservation efforts with educational and research programs focused on promoting a better understanding of the value of plants in maintaining a sustainable environment.
Public Garden Management is a comprehensive reference book that covers every aspect of public gardens including their design, facilities, administration, educational programming, outreach, and research operations from inception to maturity. It also delves into the history and significance of these unique institutions, with their living collections, beautiful landscapes, and mix of public programming and research initiatives.
The book is actually three books in one: a textbook for undergraduates majoring in horticulture, a guidebook for those visionaries who want to establish a new public garden, and an operations manual for staff at existing public gardens. The authors and their collaborators kept the book practically focused through a careful mix of overarching concepts, examples of how those concepts are demonstrated in the experiences of actual public gardens, and sources that can expand upon those concepts.
Published by John Wiley & Sons, co-published by the American Public Gardens Association, and sponsored by Longwood Gardens, Inc., the textbook is a significant step for the public garden world. As Rakow notes, “We collaborated with 36 subject matter experts to gather into a single text the collective wisdom in our field. We are excited that the public garden profession finally has its own textbook.”
When you visit Cornell Plantations, make your fist stop the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center! Say hello to our visitor services staff, plan your visit with the help of our interpretive exhibits, and browse our new merchandise in our gift shop, which includes our new logo on a variety of apparel. In the coming weeks, we will be serving coffee, tea, and light fare. See you at the Welcome Center!
Current Welcome Center hours are Tuesday- Saturday, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.