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Holiday Gift Shop Sale on Monday, November 30

1 week 19 hours ago
The Garden Gift Shop in the Nevin Welcome Center will be open for a special holiday sale on Monday, November 30 from 1:00 - 6:00 p.m. (Early Bird hours for Plantations Members start at 11:30 a.m.). Members will receive a 30% discount on most items. Non-members will receive 15% off most items. The shop has a variety of unique offerings such as handcrafted ornaments, locally sourced gift items, high quality gardening books and more! The shop is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00–4:00, through December 19 for all your holiday shopping needs!

Winter Solstice Garden Walk, December 19

1 week 19 hours ago
As the sun sinks towards its lowest arc in the sky and the longest night of the year (December 22), come join plant science Professor Peter Davies for a look at the plants of the Mullestein Family Winter Garden. Learn how plants cope with winter’s cold and enjoy some seasonal countryside folk tales. After the walk, we’ll savor some cider and doughnuts in the warmth of the Nevin Welcome Center.

Date/time: Saturday, December 19; 2:00 -3:00 p.m.
Cost:$5 (free for Plantations members and Cornell students) Pre-registration is not required.
Instructor: Professor Peter Davies
Location: Meet in front of the Nevin Welcome Center

Cornell ranked 3rd of 10 best colleges for outdoor enthusiasts

1 week 5 days ago

College Magazine recognized Cornell University for its beautiful scenery including Ithaca's 150 waterfalls and Beebe Lake on campus along with the breadth of outdoor offerings through P.E. and Cornell Outdoor Education. Click here to view the full article.

Apply for a summer internship with us

1 week 6 days ago
Become a member of the Plantations' professional team and learn about the operations of a public garden. We are accepting applications for positions working with staff in our botanic gardens, natural areas, and education department. Learn more on our internship page.

F. R. Newman Arboretum named best college arboretum

3 weeks 5 days ago ranked the arboretum as #1 of 50 most beautiful college arboretums for its rolling hills, panoramic views and beautiful gardens that make Cornell one of the nation's most beautiful campuses. Click here to see who made the list.

Students help repair amphibian crossing at Ringwood Natural Area

3 weeks 5 days ago
Catherine Li ’18, Caroline Wollman ’18 and Abigail Shilvock ’17 are three Cornell students helping migrating amphibians safely cross a roadway in one of Cornell Plantations Natural Areas. Part of their project includes rebuilding a long, curved fence that leads the salamanders to an underground tunnel. They are members of Biology Service Leaders, a group on campus that organizes teams of students that want to relate their science education with giving back to their community.

Read more about their project in the November 3 Cornell Daily Sun article "Cornell Team Looks at Automotive Dangers Faced by Local Amphibians."

Yale Professor Sir Peter Crane will give the final Fall Lecture "Gingko: The Tree that Time Forgot"

3 weeks 6 days ago
Sir Peter Crane, the Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Professor of Botany at Yale University, will give the final lecture in the Cornell Plantations’ Fall Lecture Series.  His lecture, entitled “Ginko: The Tree that Time Forgot,” will take place on Wednesday, November 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Statler Hall Auditorium on Cornell University’s campus.

Perhaps the world’s most distinctive tree, Ginkgo, a native of China, is a botanical oddity and a widely recognized botanical “living fossil.” Long thought to be extinct in the wild, Ginkgo is today widely cultivated and is beloved for the elegance of its leaves, prized for its edible nuts, and revered for its longevity. It is one of the world’s most popular street trees and source of herbal medicines. Professor Crane’s lecture will explore the evolutionary and cultural history of the species from its mysterious origin through its proliferation, drastic decline, and ultimate resurgence.

Christopher Dunn, the E. N. Wilds Director of Cornell Plantations says, “having known Professor Crane for more than 20 years and having the utmost respect and admiration for his scientific work, his keen interest in plant conservation, and his promotion of citizen science, I am thrilled that we can welcome and host such an influential botanist, and introduce him to the Cornell community. “  

Prof. Peter Crane’s work focuses on the diversity of plant life: its origin and fossil history, current status, and conservation and use. From 1992 to 1999 he was Vice President of the Field Museum in Chicago with overall responsibility for the museum’s scientific programs. During this time he established the Office of Environmental and Conservation Programs and the Center for Cultural Understanding and Change, which today make up the Division of Environment, Culture, and Conservation (ECCo). From 1999 to 2006 he was director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, one of the largest and most influential botanical gardens in the world. His tenure at Kew saw strengthening and expansion of the gardens’ scientific, conservation, and public programs. Prof. Crane was elected to the Royal Society (the U.K. academy of sciences) in 1998. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and a member of the German Academy Leopoldina. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004 for services to horticulture and conservation. Prof. Crane currently serves on the Board of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas, and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation.

Take It Outside: A Cold Weather Nature Stroll with President Garrett

3 weeks 6 days ago
Does cold weather make you feel less energetic?  Are you feeling stressed, preparing for a pre-lim, or just need a break? Take It Outside!

President Elizabeth Garrett, Provost Michael Kotlikoff, and Vice President Ryan Lombardi invite Cornell students, staff and faculty and members of the Ithaca community to join them for a cold weather walk in the Beebe Lake area and Mullestein Winter Garden. "Pop-up" stations and signs along the route will help you stay active in cold weather by reminding you of resources for renting cold weather gear, reducing stress through exercise, using nature to reduce stress and increase physical and mental health, and appreciating Cornell's abundant natural resources in cold weather.

Hot chocolate will be served at the Nevin Welcome Center, and the Cornell Wellness Program will give free Cornell hats to the first 50 people to arrive for the walk.

Date/time: Sunday, November 15; 9:30 a.m.
Cost: Free and no registration is required
Location: Meet in front of Appel Commons off of Cradit Farm Road on Cornell's north campus.

Floral acrylic paintings on display at the Nevin Welcome Center

4 weeks 18 hours ago
Enjoy acrylic painting of flowers by Jim Kozlowski from Cornell Plantations and Jim's home garden in the lobby of the Nevin Welcome Center. This exhibit will be on display during November and December.

Northern Catalpa tree removed from the Botanical Garden

4 weeks 19 hours ago
As a museum which displays and curates living specimens, we are often faced with the unfortunate reality of having to de-accession one of our living specimens. We made the difficult decision, after several thorough examinations, to remove our Northern Catalpa tree, Catalpa speciosa, from the Young Flower Garden.  

The normal life span of a Northern Catalpa tree is approximately 60 years. Through archival research, we determined that ours has lived to be at least 75 years old. As part of our regular tree monitoring process, our professional arborists noted significant and widespread decay in the tree this year. They determined that, because of this decay, it fell well below our threshold for risk and deemed it unsafe to visitors, staff, and to the other plant collections found in the Young Flower Garden. As a result, this tree was recently removed.

This Catalpa has been around since the inception of Cornell Plantations, as such, removing it was a difficult decision and process to undertake. We will miss this beautiful tree and all the ways it has graced our garden over the years.

To learn more about how our arborists made this decision, watch this short video.


Catalpa Tree from Cornell Plantations on Vimeo.

Lead arborist Lee Dean (shown right) removing branches from the catalpa tree on November 2.

Plantations Director named to the US Board of the International Union of Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

4 weeks 5 days ago
Dr. Christopher Dunn, the E. N. Wilds director, has been named to the board of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources – United States (IUCN-US).  

IUCN-US is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered in Washington, DC, which supports its partner organization, IUCN, and other partner organizations with similar missions in valuing and conserving nature, ensuring effective and equitable governance of its use, and deploying nature-based solutions to global challenges in climate, food and development. IUCN supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world, and brings governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.  IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,300 government and NGO Members and almost 13,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.  
Regarding his appointment Dr. Dunn states, “The International Union for the Conservation of Nature is the world’s oldest and largest NGO focused on major environmental issues.  As such, I am honored to be appointed to the Board of IUCN-US, as this affords Cornell Plantations and Cornell University to be recognized as a global player in addressing major conservation and policy priorities in the coming decades.”

For more information on the work of IUCN and its members and partners see

This Wednesday: Lecture on the history of plant-based medicines

5 weeks 5 days ago
Courtney Roby, Assistant Professor of Classics at Cornell University will give the lecture entitled “Plant-Based Medicines: Ancient Greece and Rome and Beyond,” on Wednesday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Statler Hall Auditorium on Cornell’s campus.
Classical Greece was the birthplace of a medical model that persisted throughout the Roman Empire, the medieval Western and Islamic worlds, and even into the 19th century. This talk will present the history of pharmaceuticals, based on cultivated and wild plants, that were developed through the collaboration of physicians and herbalists that started in Greece. That history now includes the Cornell Plantations themselves, which furnished the raw materials for some recent experiments testing the efficacy of ancient pharmaceuticals against microbes and cancer cells.

Click here to read more on our Tumblr blog.

Date/time: Wednesday, October 28; 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
Location: Statler Hall Auditorium

Click here for the full line-up of lectures.

What causes the breathtaking display of fall color year after year?

6 weeks 5 days ago

Plantations is a rainbow of color! Now is the ideal time to enjoy peak fall color in our gardens and natural areas. Learn what's reponsible for this beauty in the article "Autumn's Rainbow" by staff arborist Lee Dean.

Take a virtual tour of Plantations with WNEP Channel 16

6 weeks 5 days ago
The Scranton area's WNEP news "Home and Backyard" program recently highlighted all that Cornell Plantations has to offer. Click below for a virtual tour of Plantations' Botanical Garden, Arboretum and natural areas near Cornell campus.

Travel the tropics during a lecture on modern plant exploration

7 weeks 3 days ago
Marc Hachadourian, Director of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections and Curator of the Orchid Collection at The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) will give the William Hamilton Lecture of Cornell Plantations’ Fall Lecture Series. His lecture is entitled “Modern Plant Exploration in the Tropics: The Age of Rediscovery,” and will take place on Wednesday, October 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Statler Hall Auditorium on Cornell University’s campus.
Plant exploration in the Tropics of the world helped drive the construction of the Great Glasshouse Conservatories of Europe and North America. These magnificent pieces of architecture were once overflowing with plants infused with legend and lore just as wild and exotic as the flowers themselves.  Even these great empires under glass could barely satisfy the insatiable appetite for new and unusual tropical plants including orchids, palms, Aroids and Begonias. Many of these wonderful plants made only short appearances in cultivation only to survive within the pages of horticultural literature as vestiges of a once glorious period of discovery for glasshouse horticulture.  As time has passed the once remote and virtually inaccessible habitats these plants called home are now reachable and the plants, both those known and some unknown, are within the grasp of horticulture once again. Hachadourian’s lecture will focus on modern tropical plant exploration using both traditional and modern tools, hunting for spectacular plants that have been long absent from cultivation, and their rediscovery and reintroduction to modern glasshouse collections.
“We’re very excited to have Marc take part in our Fall Lecture Series,” stated Sonja Skelly, director of education at Cornell Plantations.  “Marc is not a stranger to Plantations, or to Cornell for that matter. He earned his degree in Plant Sciences from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, and we are very glad to welcome him home and to travel the world through his lecture to see some of the great plants that are being rediscovered.”
As Director of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections, Hachadourian oversees the state-of-the-art greenhouse complex where tens of thousands of plants are grown for Conservatory exhibitions; the gardens, collections, and seasonal displays; and scientific research at NYBG. Hachadourian began his career at NYBG as horticulturist for the orchid collection and now serves in a curatorial capacity for that collection. With over 25 years of experience in professional horticulture, Hachadourian has dedicated himself to increasing public awareness about the importance of global plant conservation and the appreciation of plant biodiversity.

William H. Hamilton Lecture
: Wednesday, October 14; 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
Location: Statler Hall Auditorium, Cornell University

View the full line-up of fall lectures here.

Film and Discussion: The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid on October 21

7 weeks 6 days ago
The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, a film by Chris Foito, aims to engage and educate the viewer on this devastating invasive species by explaining its past, present, and possible future. Through the use of archival footage and beautiful cinematic visuals, the film illustrates the vital importance of the eastern hemlock tree and raises the questions of what should be done to prevent the spread of the hemlock woolly adelgid and invasive species as a whole.

View the trailer of the film here.


Date/time: Wednesday, October 21; 7:00 p.m. with panel discussion on local impacts of the hemlock woolly adelgid to follow the film.
Cost: Free; pre-registration required
Panelists: Chris Foito, filmmaker; Mark Whitmore, forest entomologist; Todd Bittner, Plantations’ Director of Natural Areas.
Location: Nevin Welcome Center

Click here to register.

Cascadilla voted best gorge in "Best of Ithaca" 2015

7 weeks 6 days ago

The Ithaca community was so happy the Cascadilla Gorge Trail was reopened after a five-year closure, they voted Cascadilla the best gorge in Ithaca. Click here to read the "Best of Ithaca" special Ithaca Times section on September 30.


Create a succulent dish garden with us on October 18

8 weeks 18 hours ago

Don’t have a green thumb? No worries! A succulent dish garden is a great project that can help green up your indoor space, using plants that are virtually indestructible and require very little care. Each participant will design a beautiful dish garden to take home, using popular succulent plants. Pre-registration is required.

Date/time: Sunday, October 18; 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Cost: $30 ($27 for Plantations members) Fee includes all materials.
Instructor: Missy Bidwell, Plantations Greenhouse Manager
Location: Plantations Plant Production Facility, 397 Forest Home Drive

Click here to register.

Find out what makes our teen mentor program (PEEPS) special in this interview

9 weeks 17 hours ago
Abe Messing (bottom left of image), a participant of Plantations’ PEEPS program, interviews Donna Levy, Coordinator of Teen Programs at Plantations about Cornell’s Plantations Environmental Education Program for Sustainability (PEEPS)— a program for teenagers.

This program aired on September 9, 2015.
Listen here:

Images of glaciers by Gary Braasch on display

9 weeks 17 hours ago
Powerful images of glaciers by photojournalist Gary Braasch are on display in the Nevin Welcome Center through October. Mr. Braasch has traveled from the polar regions to the Himalayas and the Great Barrier Reef following scientists at work and witnessing the effects of global warming. His work, which has appeared in Time, Life, and National Geographic, presents the human connection, making the science relevant to our lives.

This exhibit is part of a series of events at Cornell University from September 30 to October 2 including a lecture at the Statler Auditorium on Wednesday, September 30 and selections from the exhibition “World View of Global Warming” at Cornell’s Mann Library. He will lecture on “Villages on the Verge,” Friday, October 2 as part of the Department of Development Sociology seminar series. Mr. Braasch will also interact with students, faculty, and community members both on and off campus during his visit.