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We're looking for volunteer gardeners.

Published: 
3 years 48 weeks ago

Like to work outdoors and get your hands dirty? Cornell Plantations is seeking volunteers to assist with the care of two of its most prized and well-known collections: the Robison York State Herb Garden and the Martha Howell Young Flower Garden.

These volunteer opportunities are available to anyone who loves plants and gardening and is able to meet the minimum requirements.

Applicants should be willing to make a weekly, long-term commitment through the growing season (April through October), and must be available Wednesday mornings for 1 to 4 hours, between 8:00 am and 12 noon.

The work can be moderately strenuous at times, and will include weeding, dividing perennials, planting annuals, mulching, deadheading spent flowers, etc. Fall cleanup includes removing frosted annuals and cutting back perennials. Prior gardening experience is helpful but not necessary. Applicants should be physically fit and able to perform repetitive tasks typical of garden and yard work, including lifting, bending, kneeling, etc. Applicants must enjoy learning, be willing to follow instructions and able to pay careful attention to fine details.

For more information, including additional volunteer opportunities, please contact Kevin Moss, Community Outreach Coordinator, at (607) 254-7430, or email km274@cornell.edu. You may also fill out an online volunteer application.

Plantations displays "gorge garbage" during Earth Day celebration

Published: 
3 years 50 weeks ago

As part of Cornell's Earth Day Celebration on Ho Plaza, Plantations staff felt it was the ideal place to "show off" garbage that was removed from campus gorges. With the help of the student group "Friends of the Gorges," we coordinated clean-up events during the week leading up to Earth Day and seven student groups participated. Two large truckloads of trash were removed including grills, a leather couch, and countless glass bottles, most of which was displayed on Ho Plaza.

Stunned expressions and comments like, "I can't believe that all came from the gorges" from people who passed by the truckload of trash proved our mission was accomplished. We hope it leads to less garbage ending up in the gorges each year.
If the truckload of garbage was not enough to attract people, a life-size cardboard cutout of Stephen Colbert and the Big Red Bear was! In Stephen Colbert style, several groups were put "On Notice" including People Who Trash the Gorges, Bears (except Big Red), and Harvard Hockey.

Learn more about the Friends of the Gorges and how you can get involved here.

Kids Discover the Trail! Announces New Website

Published: 
4 years 6 days ago

Kids Discover the Trail!, a collaboration of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), the Discovery Trail (DT), and the Ithaca City School District (ICSD); is pleased to announce its new website KidsDiscovertheTrail.org. In addition to providing a program introduction, it links to a wiki web site highlighting “best practices” of school and museum educators involved with Kids Discover the Trail!.

Kids Discover the Trail! provides curriculum-based field trips to the eight sites of the Discovery Trail consisting of Cayuga Nature Center, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell Plantations, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, The History Center in Tompkins County, Museum of the Earth at PRI, Sciencenter, and Tompkins County Public Library for ICSD students in grades Pre-K to 5. Classrooms from different ICSD elementary schools are partnered to increase opportunities for students and families from different neighborhoods to get to know each other.

This program is funded by gifts from local foundations, businesses and community members made to the IPEI; by gifts to the eight Discovery Trail organizations; and is supported by ICSD. This year’s overall Program Sponsor is BorgWarner Morse TEC.

"Kids Discover the Trail! represents the best of what Ithaca and Tompkins County have to offer our children - equity, diversity, and a chance to experience eight world-class cultural organizations right here at home, all during their formative elementary years." Charles Trautmann, Sciencenter Executive Director and Kids Discover the Trail! Co-chair.

For more information please email ipei@ipei.org  or call (607) 256-4734.

April Sunshine Brings a Burst of Blooms

Published: 
4 years 6 days ago

The bright sunny days and warmer temperatures of the past few weeks have  some of our early spring bloomers putting on a show a bit early. Come enjoy the sunshine at Plantations!

You will find:

Rhododendron 'Floda' in the Bowers
Rhododenron Collection on Comstock Knoll,

several tulips in bloom including Tulipa 'Pirand' in the Young Garden,

daffodils covering the Class of '66 Beach
on Beebe Lake,

Trout lily (Erythronium americanum) among over a dozen early spring wildflowers blooming in the Mundy Wildflower Garden, and


Magnolia x Loebneri 'Merrill,' one of several magnolias blooming in Jackson Grove in the
F.R. Newman Arboretum.

You can preview what's blooming throughout the season with our Bloom Report.

Spring is here and so is our spring class line-up!

Published: 
4 years 4 weeks ago

One of the many signs of Spring at Cornell Plantations is the posting of our Spring and Summer classes and events. Spring highlights include botanical illustration classes and guided bird and wildflower walks. View our calendar here.

A new and exciting learning opportunity to get you outside this spring: The Natural Areas Academy

Published: 
4 years 6 weeks ago

Do you love spending time in the forests, meadows and other natural areas in the Finger Lakes? Do you care about preserving the integrity of the natural world and want to share this love with others? If so, consider joining a new educational program at Cornell Plantations: The Natural Areas Academy.

Guided Field Trip to a Cornell Plantations Natural Area
The Natural Areas Academy is designed to offer an engaged educational experience through workshops, field trips, and hands on conservation projects. This experience will prepare participants for proactive and independent stewardship roles and to become mentors themselves.

Visit here to learn more and how you can get involved.

Cascadilla Gorge Trail Repairs Have Begun

Published: 
4 years 7 weeks ago

Efforts are now underway to repair and eventually reopen the Cascadilla Gorge Trail, one of Ithaca’s and Cornell’s most cherished landscapes.  Cascadilla Gorge has been closed for the past year due to unsafe conditions.  Through funding provided by Cornell University, work has begun to replace hand rails, restore stairs, install fencing, and other identified safety hazards.

During construction, visitors are reminded that portions of the trail are extremely dangerous, and are strongly urged to observe the “Posted Trail Closed” signs. 

Cascadilla Gorge was originally preserved and donated to Cornell University by Robert H. Treman in 1909 to support public use, education, and enjoyment.  The Cascadilla Gorge Trail system, initially constructed during the Civilian Conservation Corp. era, ascends 400 feet in elevation between Lynn Street and Hoy Road, and currently totals 7,800 feet in length.  Cornell Plantations manages Cascadilla Gorge, and is committed to protecting the natural area, providing ongoing educational use, and supporting safe public recreation and enjoyment of the gorge.  

Learn More about Sustainable Landscapes at the 2nd Annual Native Plant Symposium

Published: 
4 years 11 weeks ago

Whether you are a homeowner, landscape designer, land manager, or horticulturalist, the 2nd Annual Designing with Native Plants Symposium will inspire the use of native plants to create more sustainable landscapes. There will be eleven talks over two days covering topics such as planting a green roof, plants for stormwater drainage, and impacts of climate change on native ecosystems. Cornell Plantations gardener Krissy Faust will provide practical advice on planting a no-mow or low-mow lawn based on her successes in planting a native lawn at the entrance of Plantations' Mundy Wildflower Garden.

When: Friday and Saturday, March 5ht and 6th
Where: Cornell Lab of Ornithology Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity in Ithaca, NY

Click here for symposium schedule and registration.


Danthonia compressa (above) is part of the palette of "no-mow" grasses featured in the Mundy Wildflower Garden.

Plantations’ Welcome Center is Growing!

Published: 
4 years 12 weeks ago

In August, Cornell Plantations began construction on its new Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center.  Over the last 7 months we have been posting updates and photos of our progress here.  We invite you to visit online to see how the building is coming along and, if you’re in the area, stop by to see the work first-hand! As the weather begins to warm up, the building will rise faster and the surrounding landscape will take shape. Check back often to watch us grow!
 

Natural Areas participating in study to try and save hemlocks

Published: 
4 years 24 weeks ago

Cornell Plantations continues working towards the control of hemlock woolly adelgids by providing the use of our Natural Areas for research into more effective control.  In October, 2009, researchers Mark Whitmore from Cornell University and Dave Mausel from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst introduced a biocontrol agent as part of a 10 year study sponsored by the US Forest Service.  Three hundred individuals of Laricobius nigrinus, a predatory beetle native to the northwestern united states, were released to study the ability of a new inland biotype to successfully overwinter and feed on all life stages of hemlock wooly adelgids.  To read more, see the Cornell Chronicle and the Ithaca Journal, for stories about the research.  For more information on the hemlock woolly adelgid and Cornell Plantations' efforts, click here.

Pictured is Mark Whitmore depositing Laricobius nigrinus on a hemlock tree infested with hemlock wooly adelgids, Oct. 29, 2009.  Photo by Todd Bittner