From Thomas Jefferson’s gardens of Monticello; to the plight of the pollinators; to the secrets of ancient forests; there is something for everyone during the 26th Annual Cornell Plantations Fall Lecture Series.
Paul Sawyer, professor of English at Cornell University kicks-off the series on August 29th with “The First Ecologist: John Ruskin and the Futures of Landscape” in Call Alumni Auditorium in Kennedy Hall at 5:30 p.m. on the Cornell University campus.
Sawyer will trace John Ruskin’s dramatic and contradictory career from his exquisitely precise drawings of clouds, rocks, leaves, and sculptured walls and niches, into his storm-driven middle years, when his despair over the deterioration of landscape matched his fierce belief that science, art, and writing were but different routes to the same truth: Nature as the source of the greatest art and the ultimate guarantor of human values. Ruskin was an art critic, amateur scientist, uptopian socialist, and one of the greatest prose stylists in English-founded modern art criticism during England’s Victorian Era.
The Cornell Plantations Fall Lecture Series is free, open to the public, and lectures are offered alternating Wednesdays until November 7 (Aug. 29, Sept. 12 & 26, Oct. 10 & 24, and Nov. 7). The first lecture is followed by a garden party in the botanical garden of Cornell Plantations – adjacent to the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center located at 124 Comstock Knoll Road, in Ithaca. The first lecture and the September 26 lecture will take place in Call Alumni Auditorium in Kennedy Hall. All other lectures will take place in Statler Hall Auditorium in Statler Hall on the Cornell University campus.
“The Fall Lecture Series is a great way for us to provide a national, often a global view, of the trends, challenges, and opportunities the natural world affords us,” stated Sonja Skelly, director of education at Cornell Plantations. “We are excited to bring well-renowned and respected speakers to Ithaca to share their unique perspectives and offer us a chance to learn more and engage in conversation around such fascinating topics."
Cornell Plantations continues to battle invasive insects to protect our native plant populations. Read about what we are doing and what we anticipate invading our area soon in this blog post from Cornell Chronicle's "The Essentials," written by Rebecca Harrison '14.
Enjoy free tours this weekend
Botanical Garden Tour, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Meet at the Nevin Welcome Center in the botanical gardens
Botanical Garden Tour from North Campus, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Meet at Appel Commons
Arboretum Tour, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Meet at the Sculpture Garden in the Arboretum
Botanical Garden Tour, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Meet at the Nevin Welcome Center
15-minute mini tours of the Botanic Garden, 2:30, 2:45, 3:00, 3:15
Meet at the Nevin Welcome Center
New to Cornell, or just want to enjoy the outdoors? You can now access trail maps with hikes of varying distances on our website at cornellplantations.org/trails.
In addition to trail maps, this section of our website offers a map locating safe public swimming areas near campus. Click here for swimming information.
New this year!
During the last two weekends of August, Cornell is providing shuttles to and from the swimming area at Robert H. Treman State Park. Click here for more information.
From now through September, you can enjoy two art exhibits in the Nevin Welcome Center lobby.
"Landscapes: A Celebration of Color" is a sampling of oil paintings by local artist Patty Porter. All of her paintings are rich in color and texture and include a few landscapes of Cornell Plantations.
"Glass Impressions" is a range of botanically-themed glass art from four local artists featuring flameworked glass by Margaret Neher, stained glass by Buddy Klausner and Linna Dolph, and glass sculpture by Tony Serviente.
The gorges are integral parts of Ithaca's landscape, and are what make the area so "gorges!" As the caretakers of the Fall Creek and Cascadilla Gorges, Cornell Plantations knows the safety of our visitors is paramount. Todd Bittner, Director of Plantations natural areas, is featured in a new Cornell student-produced video which showcases the beauty of Cornell's gorges as well as outlines potential dangers. This video will be shown to all incoming students.
To ensure your visit to Cornell's gorges is a safe one, we encourage you to view this video.
From Ithaca, Rochester and as far away as the Hudson Valley, folks are talking about the Shakespeare performances in the F. R. Newman Arboretum.
Click here to view images of last week's productions of Romeo and Juliet by the Ithaca Shakespeare Company taken for The Journal News in the Lower Hudson Valley.
View our calendar for the schedule of Shakespeare performances this month.
photo by Simon Wheeler
Six high school students are spending part of their summer working with
Cornell Plantations staff to gain skills that will cultivate an
environmental ethic for future actions in our new "Plantations Environmental Education Program for Sustainability" or PEEPS. Read more about this exciting pilot program in the July 12 Cornell Chronicle article, "Pilot program aims to cure 'plant blindness' among high school students." This program is also featured in the Cornell Chronicle's "Picture Cornell" slideshow for July 12, 2012.
The Ithaca Shakespeare Company (ISC) and Cornell Plantations celebrate 10-years of Shakespeare with two of the Bard’s best known plays performed in Plantations’ F.R. Newman Arboretum. The ISC will be performing Love Hurts: “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Romeo and Juliet” in rotating repertoire beginning July 12 through July 29, 2012.
For ten years, the beauty of Cornell Plantations has provided the perfect setting for the Ithaca Shakespeare Company’s productions. In this 10th year of partnership, the ISC will transform Plantations’ Jackson Grove into a playhouse that would have made Shakespeare proud and that audiences have enjoyed for a decade.
Collaboration has been key to bringing the ISC’s performances to the stage in Jackson Grove. “One of the main reasons this project has been successful over the past ten years has been the way the Plantations staff has embraced it,” said Stephen Ponton, artistic director of the Ithaca Shakespeare Company. “Plantations Director Don Rakow has been an enthusiastic supporter of the productions from day one, and many other Plantations staff members have helped out in a wide variety of ways over the years, from stringing ropes up in the trees to managing parking at the performances.”
“We welcome the return of the Ithaca Shakespeare Company for a tenth season of performances at Cornell Plantations,” stated Dr. Don Rakow, the E.N. Wilds director of Cornell Plantations. “We feel privileged to have the plays mounted in this beautiful outdoor setting, just as the Bard intended for his works. Plantations is committed to engaging local audiences in a variety of ways, from tours, to classes, to artistic offerings, all intended to educate, delight and enlighten.”
Mr. Ponton understands that performing outdoor theatre always has its challenges, but working in such a beautiful natural location has a tremendous positive impact on the performances. He says, “it's always a great moment when we first move out to the performance site from our indoor rehearsal space. Being out there under the trees and the sky (and sometimes the rain) immediately makes every scene feel bigger and more energized. The location truly becomes a part of the performance. The actors love it and are really grateful for the chance to share their love of Shakespeare with our audiences in such a magical environment.”
All performances start at 6:00 PM and will take place at Jackson Grove in the F.R. Newman Arboretum. Performances are “pay what you can”, but a $10 donation is suggested. Please bring lawn chairs, blankets, and umbrellas, as performances will continue during rain (the performances will be cancelled if lightening is present). There is limited reserved seating available for $15. For more information on advance purchase tickets or to learn more about the ISC please visit: www.ithacashakespeare.org.
Each Saturday and Sunday through the summer, Plantations will offer free highlight tours of the Botanical Garden and the Arboretum. Botanical Garden tours take place on Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.; Arboretum tours are held on Sundays from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. No need to register, just come on by.