Conserving the Natural Areas of the Caroline Pinnacles
Cornell Plantations is pleased to announce the successful protection of a ten-acre addition to the Caroline Pinnacles Natural Area in the Town of Caroline. The addition, which was acquired through a land trade and donation, increases Plantations’ protected lands within the Bald Hill and Caroline Pinnacles Natural Areas to 254 acres.
“Our interest in protecting the Caroline Pinnacles originates from the educational value it possesses and the significance of its unique natural features,” stated Todd Bittner, director of the Cornell Plantations Natural Areas program. “For the past 150 years, naturalists, botanists and Cornell students have explored the steeply sloping hillsides to study the area’s unique environments.”
Caroline Pinnacles derives its name from one of the region’s most dramatic examples of a valley slope over-steepened by glaciers, which gouged at the valley-side as they moved back and forth through the White Church Valley over the millennia.
The west-southwest-facing aspect found there promotes harsh,dry growing conditions. Near the pinnacle’s top, rock outcrops are present, and the stature of the oak forests is dwarfed by exposure. The resulting open forests are dominated by chestnut oak (Quercus montana), red oak (Q. rubra), andblack oak (Q. velutina). Of particular significance is the presence of two plant species, hair grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) and lyrate rock-cress (Arabidopsis lyrata), which have their only known occurrence in the Cayuga Lake basin here. At least 18 locally rare or scarce species ofvascular plants and vertebrates, including mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), pitch pine (Pinus rigida), and coal skink (Eumeces anthracinus), are also found in this unusual dry, warm, rocky habitat.
View map of Caroline Pinnacles.
Get directions to Caroline Pinnacles.
The mission of the Cornell Plantations Natural Areas Program is to preserve and maintain natural areas in the Central Finger Lakes region, in order to foster natural heritage conservation, research and educational efforts.
Calling anyone who has taken a picture, had their picture taken, or ever seen a picture! New York City's acclaimed cartoonist/photographer/performer Flash Rosenberg will share her secret strategies for capturing the funny things we see each day and transforming them into a heightened form of wit. Bring paper and pencil (or whatever electronic note-making system you prefer).
When: Sunday, Jan 23, 2011 from 10am to 12noon
Where: Nevin Welcome Center in the Botanical Gardens
Cornell Natural Area part of successful research on the control of the harmful insect hemlock woolly adelgid
The United States Forest Service recently released the article, "Glimmer of hope for northeast hemlocks," documenting how research on the release of a predatory beetle, Laricobius nigrinus, has a good chance of helping to control the spread of the invasive Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Eastern hemlock trees infested with the hemlock wooly adelgid often die, and since many plants and animals rely on the habitat created by eastern hemlock, it is critical to protect hemlock populations.
The Edwards Lake Cliffs Natural Area at Cornell Plantations is one site where this research has taken place.
Read more about Cornell Plantations efforts to control the spread of the hemlock woolly adelgid.
Beginning January 3, 2011, the new parking area at the Nevin Welcome Center (in the Botanical Garden) is now a “Pay and Display” metered lot. The lot will be monitored from 7:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Monday through Friday. Parking is available for up to three hours at $1.50 per hour, and the meter will accept both cash and credit/debit cards. Parking at the Nevin Center is free after 5:00 and on weekends, and there is always free parking in the F. R. Newman Arboretum and at the entrance to the Wildflower Garden.
THE WINNER IS…CORNELL PLANTATIONS NEVIN WELCOME CENTER!
December 17th, 2010: Baird Sampson Neuert Architects, the designers of the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center, is one of six recipients of the 2010 Awards of Excellence from Canadian Architect magazine and online journal for their work on the Nevin Welcome Center.
Awards of Excellence are given each year to architects and architectural graduates for buildings in the design stage. One of only two Canadian award programs devoted exclusively to architecture, the Awards of Excellence have recognized significant building projects in Canada or by Canadian architects on an annual basis since 1968.
“We are delighted that Canadian Architect magazine has chosen to recognize the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center with this prestigious award,” states the E. N. Wilds Director of Cornell Plantations, Donald A. Rakow. “The building brilliantly blends indoor spaces with views to the gardens outdoors, resulting in a harmonious, immersive experience for the visitor.”
Awards are given for architectural design excellence. Jurors considered response to the program, site, geographical and social context, and evaluated physical organization, structure, materials and environmental features.
The Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center was dedicated on October 28, 2010 and will be open to visitors in late January 2011. A grand opening celebration for the Ithaca community will be held May 22, 2011. Designed to achieve Gold LEED certification, the Nevin Welcome Center is also a significant step forward in Plantations’ and Cornell’s commitment to sustainability.
Click here to read the online article published by Canadian Architect.
December 13th, 2010: Please take notice that the Cascadilla Gorge Trail from Linn Street
downtown to College Avenue is closed for the winter season. This section of the gorge trail will remain closed until all snow and ice have cleared in spring.
On Saturday November 6th, the radio show "In The Garden" with Andre Viette aired from Cornell Plantations. Andre hosted this weekly call-in show from the Lewis Building in the Botanical Gardens and interviewed Plantations staff Irene Lekstutis (Landscape Designer), Todd Bittner (Director of Natural Areas), and Sonja Skelly (Director of Education).
Click here to download a copy of the show (as a podcast). Please note, there is a different file for each hour. The subject for Saturday's files should read: ANDRE BROADCASTS FROM CORNELL UNIVERSITY.
On October 18th, Cornell Plantations completed repairs to the lower section of the gorge trail between Linn Street and Stewart Avenue, and has reopened it to the public. The partially open trail is accessible from the renovated entrance at Treman Triangle in downtown Ithaca. The section of trail between Stewart Avenue and College Avenue remains closed and under construction in order to address safety hazards on and around the gorge trail identified in a 2008 trail assessment. Through funding provided by Cornell University, work continues to restore and open this section. A project completion date has not been set. During construction, visitors are reminded that portions of the trail are extremely dangerous, and are strongly urged to observe the "Posted Trail Closed" signs.
With its light-filled atrium and lobby surrounded by walls of windows and skylights, the Cornell Plantations' Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center was dedicated Oct. 28, culminating a decade of building and renovation projects at the Plantations.
Read more of this Cornell Chronicle online article on October 29, 2010.
Judd Falls Road closure may affect your route to Cornell Plantations from September 22nd through October 1st
Alternate Route: In leiu of accessing Plantations Road to the Botanical Garden via Judd Falls Road, we suggest accessing Plantations Road from Caldwell Road, just east of Judd Falls Road, or from Forest Home Drive, at the west end of Plantations Road.
Detour signs will be posted to assist with traffic around the road closure.