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Explore how our Natural Areas are used for Cornell research

29 weeks 2 days ago

The Cornell Plantations' Natural Areas steward 3,400 acres of land, including 20 on-campus and 24 off-campus locations. Each area is maintained and protected to support academic research and conservation goals of the Cornell Plantations' Natural Areas staff. Eight of our natural areas are featured in Cornell Research's "Life in the Lab" blog.


Click here to see what goes on in these beautiful outdoor classrooms.

(Beebe Lake in fall shown left)

Article in "National Geographic" describes the Ecological Calendars and Climate Adapation in the Pamirs (ECCAP) project

30 weeks 2 days ago
A Cornell team led by Karim-Aly Kassam, Professor of Natural Resources, received $1.35 million from the Belmont Forum for a three-year study to work with scientists from China, Germany and Italy to help communities in the Pamir Mountains that span Afghanistan, China, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan adapt their ecological calendars in the face of climate change to improve food and livelihood security. Following the research, the scientists hope to provide a replicable model for similar initiatives in other mountain communities.

The National Geographic article "Climate Change is Making Calendars Run Amok" describes how communities in the Pamir Mountains have been affected by climate change.

Happy Spring! Read below for current trail and road openings

30 weeks 3 days ago
The F. R. Newman Arboretum is now open to vehicles; Cascadilla Gorge Trail scheduled to open later this spring

When the calendar moves into spring, we begin preparations to open trails and other areas that are closed during the winter. Even though we experienced a mild winter, the Cascadilla Gorge Trail will remain closed until remaining gorge repairs are complete. We are replacing a wooden staircase and reinforcing four adjacent retaining walls to better stabilize the slope— the last of the comprehensive effort to restore trails and other infrastructure in Cascadilla Gorge, which began in 2009. We anticipate the Cascadilla Gorge trail will be opened by the end of April.

Nature Rx wants you to take it outside

31 weeks 1 day ago
An online article posted on Cornell's Slope Media features the new program "Nature Rx," an intiative to connect students with relaxing outdoor spaces for their mental and physical well-being. Projects to carry out this program include the development of the "CU in Nature" app to guide students to beautiful green spaces around campus, a one-credit class to explore what Cornell has to offer outdoors.

Read more in the article "Nature Rx wants you to take it outside."

Presentation explores the impact of our Climate Change Garden

31 weeks 4 days ago
Sonja Skelly, Plantations Director of Education, presented "Creating a Garden for Climate Change Education" for the Monday Seminar hosted by Cornell's Department of Horticulture. In this 45-minute video, Sonja provides a virtual tour of Plantations' Climate Change Garden and explains how it engages visitors to observe how plants are affected by changes in temperature and other growing conditions. This interactive experience helps visitors gain a deeper understanding of how future changes in climate conditions projected for Central New York are likely to affect the plants we cultivate and are integral parts of local ecosystems.

Click here to view tihs 45-minute presentation.

Condolences from Director Christopher Dunn

32 weeks 4 days ago
We are all shocked and saddened by the passing of President Beth Garrett. In my few encounters with Beth, she showed an uncommon understanding of the value of Cornell Plantations to the university and the community. Her energy, intellect, and enthusiasm will be missed. We all extend our thoughts and prayers to her family and loved ones.

- Christopher Dunn, PhD.
E. N. Wilds Director

Student artwork on display until the end of the month

33 weeks 2 days ago
View 15 prints inspired by culinary plants created by students of Cornell art professor Greg Page’s “Introduction to Print Media.” The prints are comprised of various media including lithography, relief, and screen prints, as well as a colophon page. For research and inspiration, the students visited the International Crop and Weed Garden in the F. R. Newman Arboretum and the Robison Herb Garden in the Botanical Garden.

On display March – April.

More artwork by Greg Page’s students…
Greg Page’s “Introduction to Print Media” class has visited many areas of Plantations over the past several years. This semester, the class is drawing inspiration from the Mundy Wildflower Garden and the art from this class will be on display at the Johnson Museum of Art starting March 11.

Read more about the focus of this class on our Tumblr blog.

New partnership with The Cornell Store

33 weeks 2 days ago
We are happy to announce that we have partnered with The Cornell Store to operate Plantations’ Garden Gift Shop. The Cornell Store, a self-funded enterprise operated by Cornell University, is a nationally recognized top-tier collegiate retailer. We are excited to benefit from their expertise to enhance and grow our Gift Shop. This partnership will allow us to expand our offerings onsite and online. The Gift Shop will continue to offer the high quality mission-related merchandise that you’ve come to expect and our members will continue to receive their member discount. All purchases directly support the Cornell Plantations and other university programs. We look forward to this new opportunity and invite you to come visit the Garden Gift Shop, a Cornell Store soon!

Get ready for spring gardening with these winter workshops

36 weeks 2 days ago
Native Seed Propagation, Saturday, February 20
Gardener Krissy Boys will share proven techniques and step-by-step instructions for growing native plants from seed.

Click here to learn more and register.

Pruning Fundamentals, Saturday February 27
Arborists Lee Dean and Daniel Weitoish will share the basics of pruning plus some advanced techniques in this hands-on workshop.

Click here to learn more and register.

At the Nevin Welcome Center: Ironwork by Durand Van Doren

36 weeks 2 days ago

This exhibit features wrought iron botanical pieces by artist blacksmith Durand Van Doren that he designed for gates, railings, archways, lanterns and 14 interpretive sign bases found throughout the Botanical Garden, Arboretum, in Cascadilla Gorge and on the Cornell Campus.

This exhibit extends beyond Durand's work displayed in the Welcome Center lobby. We encourage you to take a winter stroll to view Durand’s work by:

Picking up a list of locations in the Nevin Welcome Center or download the list here.


Using your smart phone to take a tour by downloading the free “Pocketsights Tour Guide” app from the App Store or Google Play Store. The app offers three tours that begin at the Nevin Welcome Center:

  • Ironwork in the F. R. Newman Arboretum
  • Ironwork in the Botanical Garden
  • Ironwork on the Cornell Campus and Cascadilla Gorge

(image: Cascadilla Gorge gate in Treman Triangle park in downtown Ithaca, by University Photography)

Cornell recognized as a "Tree Campus USA" school by the Arbor Day Foundation

37 weeks 3 days ago
The Arbor Day Foundation recognizes the importance of having trees throughout a college campus—Not only do they provide shade, habitat and clean air, they help reduce the amount of energy generated, reduce carbon dioxide in the air, and provide spaces to relax and enjoy being outside. To be recognized as a "Tree Campus USA," colleges are required to meet five standards that show that they effectively manage their trees, reach out to their communities to foster healthy urban forests, and engage students in all of these efforts. Between staff that care for the trees on Cornell grounds and Cornell Plantations staff that care for trees in our Botanical Garden, Arboretum and Natural Areas, a lot of time and hard work goes into maintaining the beautiful Cornell campus.

Click here to view the list of colleges recognized as a "Tree Campus USA."

(photo: Grossman Pond in Cornell Plantations F. R. Newman Arboretum; Lindsay France, University Photography)

Still a few spots left for "Coffee, Cloves and Chocolate" on March 6

37 weeks 3 days ago
In this first installment in our “Cultures and Cuisine” series, you’ll learn some of the history and customs associated with each of these food plants, while sampling them in some sweet and savory dishes during a three course meal created by the Statler Culinary Team. Deadline for registration is Friday, March 4.

Date/time: Sunday, March 6; 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Cost: $55; $50 for Plantations members
Instructor: Donald Rakow; Professor, Cornell Department of Horticulture
Location: Taylor/Rowe Room, Taverna Banfi in the Statler Hotel

Click here to learn more and register.

We're hiring a Construction Crew Leader

38 weeks 3 days ago

Click here for the full job description.



Backyard Nature Walk this Saturday

38 weeks 3 days ago
Head outside and discover some of winter’s wonders in this “backyard” walk for nature enthusiasts of all ages. How do different plants and animals survive the winter cold? On this stroll through the botanical garden and nearby woods we’ll search for clues to answer these and other questions. Afterwards we’ll warm up with some hot cocoa in the Nevin Welcome Center.

Date/time: Saturday, January 30; 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Cost: Free, no registration required. Click here to learn more.
Instructor: Kevin Moss, staff educator
Location: Meet at the Nevin Welcome Center

Click here for our full calendar of events.

Land protection expands the Fischer Old-Growth Forest preserve

40 weeks 2 days ago
Cornell Plantations recently expanded the Fischer Old-Growth Forest Natural Area in the Town of Newfield through a gift of 17.43 acres. The new property, named the Bandler Family Tract, was donated by David K. Bandler, emeritus professor in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University. The preserve now protects nearly 60 acres, with almost 30 acres of old-growth forest.

Read more on our Tumblr blog.

Image: Plantations director Christopher Dunn (left) with David Bandler.

Sculpture Garden a legacy to the late Jack Squier

41 weeks 6 hours ago

I, along with my colleagues at Cornell Plantations would like to share our condolences with the family of Professor Jack Squier, who passed away earlier this week. In the early part of the 1960s Professor Squier guided a group of undergraduates to create the Sculpture Garden in what is now the F. R. Newman Arboretum. We are privileged to host a lasting legacy of his influence and students' creativity.

--Dr. Christopher Dunn, the E. N. Wilds Director of Cornell Plantations

Photo: Jack Squier with his wife in the Sculpture Garden in 2011, photo by University Photography

A new model for our Graduate Program in Public Garden Leadership

41 weeks 6 hours ago
The Cornell Graduate Fellows Program in Public Garden Leadership (PGL) is an intensive one-year Master of Professional Studies program focused on public garden professionals wishing to advance their knowledge and career preparedness at an internationally recognized research university. The program provides an educational and experiential framework emphasizing leadership, strategic decision making, and financial/business management that prepares students for leadership and managerial roles in the public garden field.

The program co-directors work with each student to develop a course of study and to identify an action project topic and approach.  Students enroll in Cornell coursework during the fall and spring semesters and conduct the majority of the work on the action project between the end of the spring semester and the completion of the program.

The PGL group travels each spring break for an in-depth study at a number of public gardens. Opportunities also exist for each PGL student to work one-on-one with a Cornell Plantations staff member on a one semester project.  Each student is also matched to a leader in the public garden field who serves as that student’s mentor, counseling him or her on action project, public garden issues, and career development.

Individuals accepted into the PGL program are responsible for paying the required tuition and fees. Partial scholarships are available on request.

Applications are being accepted and are due by February 1, 2016.

Click here for more information about the Cornell Graduate Program in Public Garden Leadership.

F. R. Newman Arboretum is now closed to vehicles

41 weeks 1 day ago

The F. R. Newman Arboretum is now closed to vehicle traffic. Please
don't let that stop you from enjoying the arboretum this winter. Parking
is available at the Mundy Wildflower Garden parking lot off of Caldwell
Road at the intersection with Forest Home Drive, which is directly
across from the arboretum.

Pedestrians are welcome to explore the arboretum every day from dawn
to dusk. Vehicle access will begin again in the spring. Happy winter!

Watercolor art on display at the Nevin Welcome Center

41 weeks 1 day ago
"A Celebration of Life" is a display of delicate wildflowers painted by former volunteer Wilma (Willie) Gilmore.

Willie was a long-time volunteer at Cornell Plantations, gardener, and artist. Her work, a series of delicate watercolors of blossoms and fruits, will be on display in the Nevin Welcome Center until February 29. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, January 9th from 2pm – 4pm light refreshments will be served, and the event is free and open to the public.

In her prime, Willie was an avid gardener and for decades she enjoyed visiting Cornell Plantations, where she was a long-time volunteer and active member and past president of the Auraca Herbarists. Confronting serious ailments, her prolific gardening activities changed from shovel and wheelbarrow to container plantings. Then, in time, her focus shifted to creating these beautiful watercolors of blossoms and fruits which are on display. These delicate paintings were found in a drawer after her passing.

They came as a surprise even to her family and close friends. As her beloved husband of over 60 years said, “Perhaps Willie saw the paintings as metaphor for life: blossoming, then fading and dying, as we all do, with youth, maturity, and finally, passing on. It is our good fortune that Willie’s last flower creations, the paintings, her Celebration of Life, are ours to enjoy, forever.”

The Nevin Welcome Center, located in the botanical garden of Cornell Plantations, is open Tuesday – Saturday, from 10am – 4pm. 

F. R. Newman Arboretum remains open to vehicles

43 weeks 2 days ago

With the weather forecast calling for unseasonably warm temperatures, we decided to keep the arboretum open. Cornell Plantations' Botanical Garden and Arboretum are open from dawn to dusk every day, and we invite you to visit and enjoy the fresh air over the holiday break.