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Ögwe ö:weh Consciousness as Peace

Published: 
2 years 6 weeks ago
We invite you to join us for Ögwe ö:weh Consciousness as Peace, a symposium and exhibit opening this Friday, March 21 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Nevin Welcome Center.

The symposium and exhibition will focus on the Haudenosaunee symbolism of “The Tree of Peace,” also known as the white pine or Pinus strobus, one of the oldest trees in North America. The white pine is the only five-needled tree in New York State, and has been used by generations of Haudenosaunee storytellers to depict the "bundling" of five nations together under one law.

 

 

 

 

 

The program is a collaborative effort by Cornell University’s American Indian Program and Cornell Plantations:

  • 3:00 - 4:00 p.m: Staff from the American Indian Program and Cornell Plantations will discuss the new exhibit featuring, a beaded tree titled, “Ganradaisgowah-Peace Tree” by renowned Cayuga artist, Samuel Thomas and a replica of the “Dust or The Ever-growing Tree” wampum, each the embodiment of Haudenosaunee “The Tree of Peace.”
  • 4:00 - 6:00 p.m: Tom Porter (Sakokwenionkwas “The One Who Wins”), an expert in Haudenosaunee history and culture and  Mohawk elder, will host a dialogue with faculty in Cornell’s American Indian Program about “The Tree of Peace”.
  • Coffee, juice and light refreshments will be served.


The exhibit, Ögwe ö:weh Consciousness as Peace, will be on display from March 21 through July 2014. For more information about the exhibition and symposium, view our calendar or contact the American Indian Program website or call 607-255-6587.

"Painting the Plantations Through Students' Eyes" on display

Published: 
2 years 8 weeks ago
Visit the Nevin Welcome Center during March and April to view watercolor paintings of trees and landscapes created by students of Camille Doucet in classes at Cornell Plantations.

Calling all high school students!

Published: 
2 years 9 weeks ago
Plantations’ Environmental Education Program for Sustainability (PEEPS) –  an outdoor, hands-on apprenticeship for teens focusing on plants, environmental appreciation and education –  is seeking applicants. Who should apply? High school students interested in learning about plants, the natural environment, and sustainable practices in fun and engaging ways!

The program runs outside of the school schedule during the spring, summer, and fall. Students receive a monetary reward after they complete the program in the fall and are encouraged to return each year to build new skills that come with each progressive tier. Students currently in 8th-10th grade are eligible to apply.

“This is a great opportunity for area students who are interested in the natural world and in sustainability to get hands-on experience,” stated Donna Levy, teen program coordinator at Cornell Plantations. “Since the inception of this program we have seen students cultivate their passions for being green, make serious commitments to making their planet a better place, and really starting in their own backyards. As a life long educator, it’s really an awesome thing to see.”

Teens in the program create a “Sustainable Backyard” garden, which is on display in the Botanical Garden at Cornell Plantations.  They participate in weekly interpretive hikes and field trips, community projects, mentoring and leadership opportunities, and discussions around environmental topics. High School students come in regular contact with Cornell students, faculty, and staff and are exposed to many Cornell resources for an extraordinary experience.

Since the number of students accepted is limited, it is important for interested students to submit applications by the deadline of March 7, 2014.

The application window for PEEPS (Plantations Environmental Education Program for Sustainability) is now open and we will be accepting online applications until March 7, 2014.

Click here to learn more and to apply.

Cornell Plantations receives grant to expand interpretation in the Botanical Garden

Published: 
2 years 11 weeks ago
What makes a winter garden beautiful? How did rhododendrons and azaleas from China make their way into Cornell’s backyard?  Why is a north-facing slope ideal for growing conifers? Besides love, what did the rose symbolize in ancient mythologies?  Answers to these questions and other fascinating stories can now be told by Cornell Plantations thanks to the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust which granted Plantations $20,000 to develop interpretive signs and books for our Botanical Garden. Over the course of the next year, we will be adding six new interpretive signs around the Botanical Garden, and six new interpretive booklets in Plantations’ Young Flower Garden.

The proposed project will allow for the installation of an introductory panel in almost all garden areas within the botanical garden and to develop interpretive books for one garden.  The purpose of the introductory signs is to introduce visitors to the main idea behind the creation of each garden, orient them to what they can explore, and share fascinating stories behind the plants found in each garden.  The interpretive booklets being developed showcase flowers found in the Young Flower Garden and how they have been depicted in art and literature throughout the world and the cultural importance of the plants.  Additionally, the new booklets are ADA compliant and weather resistant.

“Having a sign at the entrance of each garden is a way to ‘greet’ visitors and share with them what is unique about the garden and what they can experience in the garden.” says Sarah Fiorello, interpretation coordinator for Cornell Plantations.  “These funds will help Cornell Plantations complete the final set of interpretive priorities from our 2009 Interpretive Master Plan and we are thrilled that Stanley Smith granted us this award.”  

The gardens located in the Botanical Garden which are slated for interpretive upgrades are Conifer Slope, the Mullestein Family Winter Garden, Comstock Knoll, and the Young Flower Garden.

The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust was created in 1970 by May Smith, in honor of her late husband. The Trust supports education and research in ornamental horticulture, primarily in North and South America. Grants up to $20,000 are typically made to botanical gardens, arboreta, and universities.

New Director Named for Cornell Plantations

Published: 
2 years 12 weeks ago
We are excited to share the news that Christopher P. Dunn, Ph.D. will become the next Elizabeth Newman Wilds Director of Cornell Plantations. 

“Plantations is an integral part of Cornell, serving as both the largest laboratory and richest classroom on campus, while furnishing the university with a unique botanical character unlike that of other institutions of higher learning,” said Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in her announcement. “I am confident that Christopher’s depth of experience and passion will foster new opportunities for Plantations to enhance its conservation mission while continuing to promote the enrichment and well-being of the entire Cornell community.”

Click here to read the February 5 Cornell Chronicle article, "Plantations appoints botanist from Hawaii as director."

Nevin Welcome Center is closed Friday, January 31

Published: 
2 years 13 weeks ago

We apologize for the inconvenience. The Welcome Center will reopen on Saturday, February 1st at 10 a.m. Throughout the month of February, all of our holiday-themed gift items will be 40% off. Click here for the Nevin Welcome Center hours.

Parking is now free for the first hour at the Botanical Garden!

Published: 
2 years 15 weeks ago
You've asked, we've listened, and now we are very excited to announce that parking at Plantations Nevin Welcome Center just got better!

Starting January 14, 2014, your first hour of parking is FREE!  Yes, you read that right – FREE!  You will still need to get a display ticket from the parking meter, but no payment is needed if you’re only staying for an hour. For longer visitis, the lot is metered during the weekday at a rate of $1.50 per hour from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for a maximum of three hours. Visitors are not required to pay to park during evening hours and on weekends.

We hope that this new feature will encourage you to come out and take time to visit the Garden Gift Shop and the beautiful botanical garden.

Come see us soon!

Fall Lecture Series Videos now available!

Published: 
2 years 16 weeks ago
Videos of our Fall Lectures are now available online.  Please note Jim Sterba’s “Nature Wars” lecture is only available for viewing January 9- 16.

In addition to viewing videos of our Fall Lectures, a recording of the Panel Discussion sponsored by Cornell Plantations and Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future about coordinated deer management within Tompkins County is available.

 

 

Click here for links to videos of all Fall Lectures.

Click here to view Jim Sterba's lecture and the Deer Management Panel Discussion he participated in.

"Winter Landscapes" on display at the Nevin Welcome Center

Published: 
2 years 16 weeks ago
Photographer Carl Schofield will be displaying images of winter scenes in the Finger Lakes area and other regions on gallery wrapped prints on canvas and satin media. This display will be in the Nevin Welcome Center lobby through the end of February.

The Nevin Center is Closed today due to weather

Published: 
2 years 17 weeks ago

We apologize for the inconvenience. The welcome center will reopen tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Season's Greetings

Published: 
2 years 19 weeks ago

Warm wishes this holiday season! Click here to view our holiday greeting.

 

 

 

 

Season's Greetings

Published: 
2 years 19 weeks ago

Warm wishes this holiday season! Click here to view our holiday greeting.

 

Celebrating the Winter Solstice in Cornell Plantations’ Mullestein Family Winter Garden

Published: 
2 years 20 weeks ago
Join Cornell Plantations on December 21 as we celebrate the Winter Solstice with our “Plants of the Winter Solstice” program, from 2:00 to 5:00 P.M., in the Mullestein Family Winter Garden and Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center.

By modern-day reckoning, the winter solstice marks the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere, though in some earlier traditions the solstice was considered the middle of winter, or ‘midwinter’. Similarly, the summer solstice was once considered ‘midsummer’, as in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. This makes the Winter Garden the perfect spot to celebrate the first day of winter!

“The winter solstice has been celebrated around the world by many cultures since ancient times, and here in the West, a lot of our familiar holiday celebrations have ancient origins,” stated Kevin Moss, adult education and volunteer coordinator at Cornell Plantations. “Plants have always been a big part of those traditions. For example, evergreens were considered sacred by many ancient peoples because they were the plants that never died – they stayed green all winter long while other plants withered and died back when the life-giving sun was the furthest away.  Evergreen wreaths, with their circular shape, are symbols of strength and represent the cycle of life, death and rebirth.” 
Bringing evergreens indoors was believed to ward off misfortune through the winter season. A wonderful Celtic tradition held that bringing evergreens inside would give woodland spirits and faeries a warm place to spend the winter, and in return they would bring you good fortune. However, you had to make sure you didn’t leave the greens inside too long, or they might take up permanent residence -- and then you’d have a bunch of mischievous pixies living in your house!

Other plants such as oak, holly, ivy, and mistletoe have folk and mythic traditions related to the winter solstice as well.  The Oak was usually used for bonfires during the midwinter celebration known as Yule by pre-Christian Germanic peoples.  Celtic druids believe the oak to be the most sacred of all trees, and mistletoe that grew on oak trees was considered a powerful and sacred magical plant. Holly was included in the evergreens brought inside during the winter and was especially prized because of its shiny leaves and its ability to bear fruit in winter. Holly trees were sacred to the powerful Roman god Saturn, and holly wreaths with bright red berries were given as gifts during his holiday -- the Saturnalia, which was the winter solstice festival upon which the Christmas holiday was modeled.

You will discover the cultural and natural history of these plants and more at our “Plants of the Winter Solstice” program.  The program will include a guided tour of the Mullestein Winter Garden, and participants will make a simple evergreen wreath to take home. Then, as darkness descends, we’ll head back outside for some traditional wassailing and a simple solstice ceremony at our outdoor fire pit. Refreshments and all materials will be provided. The cost is $36 ($30 for Plantations members and Cornell students). Pre-registration is required. Click here to register.


About the Winter Solstice

The winter solstice itself is an astronomical event that occurs as a result of the earth’s 23.4 degree axial tilt, and its relationship to the sun. On the day of the solstice, the northern half of the planet is tilted directly away from the sun, so from the perspective of those living in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun rises and sets in its furthest point south of the equatorial plane, and traces its lowest arc across the daytime sky. This also gives us both the shortest day of the year, and the longest night. From that point on, however, the days will gradually grow longer and longer, and the nights shorter and shorter, as the sun slowly returns to the north.
But everything is relative to your position on the Earth: on the same date, December 21, if you’re in the southern hemisphere, you’ll celebrate the first day of summer. Winter for you would begin around June 21 – which is the time of the summer solstice for us. The winter solstice occurs at 12:11 pm EST on December 21, 2013. 

About the Mullestein Family Garden

You can enjoy the Winter Garden at Cornell Plantations throughout the year. This one-acre site contains over 700 plants chosen for their interesting bark texture, bark color, unusual growth habits, winter fruit, cones, or evergreen foliage. These qualities provide color and interest during Ithaca’s long winters, making the winter garden a year-round destination for visitors. Plants found in the garden include shrubby dogwoods, willows, birches, hawthorns, and small conifers in different shades of blue, silver, green, and gold, which provide an attractive backdrop for the bright fruit and bark colors.

Reasons to celebrate at Cornell Plantations

Published: 
2 years 21 weeks ago

Sustainable Tompkins honors Cornell Plantations with four “Sign of Sustainability" Awards

Sustainable Tompkins recognized Plantations with four “Sign of Sustainability” awards which honor individuals and businesses with new initiatives related to sustainability. The four awards recognized Plantations for:

  • Our Environmental Education Program for Sustainability (PEEPS), an experiential learning program for local teen-aged youth and Cornell University students which aims to raise ecological awareness and understanding among participants and teach them skills that will allow them to cultivate an environmental ethic for future actions.
    • The Fischer Environmental Conservation Award received by our Natural Areas Program from the Town of Ithaca in May.  This award recognizes efforts to preserve important environmental resources in the Town.
    • Our hosting Peter Raven’s “Conserving Species in a Changing World” Class of 1945 Lecture as part of our public Fall Lecture Series
    • Our offering a self-guided Poetry Walk through the Mundy Wildflower Garden this spring where visitors could connect native plants to original poetry through an audio tour.

Plantations is thrilled to offer our community these signs of sustainability and look forward to offering many more!

Cornell Plantations receives a “Pride of Ownership” award from the Ithaca Rotary Club and City of Ithaca

Plantations also received the “Pride in Ownership” award by the Ithaca Rotary Club and the City of Ithaca. This award recognizes owners who have developed projects or taken care of their property in ways that enhance the appearance of neighborhoods and commercial areas. As part of the restoration of Cascadilla Gorge, Plantations commissioned local blacksmith artist, Durand Van Doren, to create a metal gate to close the gorge in winter. The gate beautifully captures the gorge’s natural elements decorated with metal oak leaves, waterfalls, and bedrock complete with fossils.

F. R. Newman Arboretum closed for winter

Published: 
2 years 21 weeks ago

The F. R. Newman Arboretum is closed to vehicle traffic until further notice. Pedestrians are welcome to explore the arboretum every day from dawn to dusk. 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.

"Les Arbres" watercolors by Camille Doucet on display

Published: 
2 years 23 weeks ago
Now through the end of December, you can visit the Nevin Welcome Center to enjoy "Les Arbres."

"Les Arbres" is a collection of eight watercolor paintings by Ithaca artist and long-time Plantations instructor Camille Doucet. All paintings reflect Camille's love of trees and honor their generosity, from enriching the soil and producing oxygen to providing shade and adding beauty. The Nevin Welcome Center is open Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Greenhouse Manager Missy Bidwell receives staff excellence award

Published: 
2 years 24 weeks ago
On Monday, November 4, Missy Bidwell, Greenhouse Manager of Cornell Plantations was awarded the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Research and Extension Award in recognition of her commitment to communication.  

"In her role managing the entire nursery facility, she needs to work successfully with a wide army of stake holders.  She coordinates a large core of volunteers, student workers, interns, and staff who use the greenhouse for both growing plants and teaching. Keeping the highly diverse types of plants from tropical to annuals, trees and herbaceous perennials healthy, and getting them moved into new spaces as they grow requires a high level of organizational skill. Missy is superb at bringing order to this moving target." -Mary Hirshfeld, Director of Horticulture at Cornell Plantations.

The CALS Research and Extension awards recognize a broad range of accomplishments contributing to the realization of their vision, “To be the preeminent college for research, teaching and extension of agriculture and life sciences, developing leaders to address the global challenges of the 21st century.”

New members receive a subcription to "Better Homes and Gardens"

Published: 
2 years 25 weeks ago

Bonus for you! Included with your membership or membership renewal is a one-year subscription to Better Homes and Gardens--your choice of print or digital edition. Click here to learn more.

Read "Verdant Views" online

Published: 
2 years 27 weeks ago

The Summer/Fall issue of Cornell Plantations magazine, Verdant Views, is available to view online. Click here to read this issue and past issues.

Jim Sterba, author of "Nature Wars" will speak Wednesday October 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Published: 
2 years 28 weeks ago
Jim Sterba, author of "NATURE WARS" will be speaking at Cornell University on Wednesday, October 23, at 7:30 P.M. in the Statler Hall Auditorium as part of Cornell Plantations Fall Lecture Series.

If you are among the more than four thousand drivers who will hit a deer today, or your kids’ soccer field is an unplayable mess of goose droppings, or a coyote has snatched your cat, or beavers have flooded your backyard, or wild turkeys have attacked your mailman, or bears have looted your bird feeders, you might be wondering why. As award-winning journalist and reporter Jim Sterba explains, “It is very likely that more people live in closer proximity to more wild animals and birds in the eastern United States today than anywhere on the planet at any time in history.” The trouble, Sterba tells us, in "NATURE WARS: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds" (Crown; November 13, 2012), is that modern Americans have become so estranged from nature that many of them don’t know how to cope with the wild bounty in their midst. So they battle one another over what, if anything, to do as conflicts between wildlife and people mount.

Four hundred years of colonial expansion culminated in an “era of extermination” in the late 1800s—a crescendo of forest and wildlife destruction so egregious that it spawned a backlash, the conservation movement, and an incredible turnaround. As trees took back farm land, conservationists nurtured numerous wild populations back to health. All the while, Americans were moving out of urban settings into new suburbs and beyond. By 2000, more than half the population lived neither in cities nor on farms but in a vast tree-filled in-between that demographers call sprawl. Today, as Sterba shows in "NATURE WARS", more people live in forested sprawl than anywhere else, and they coexist—not always blissfully—with growing populations of wild animals and birds. But unlike their farming forebears, modern Americans typically get their nature indirectly, from film and television shows in which wild creatures often act like humans worthy of protection even as their populations grow, causing billions in damage, degrading ecosystems, and polarizing communities.

"NATURE WARS" offers an eye-opening look at Americans’ interactions with nature and animals, illustrating how we’ve failed to be responsible stewards despite our best efforts and intentions. A deeply researched, eloquently written, counterintuitive, and often humorous look at relations between humans and nature—and the deepening chasm between the two—"NATURE WARS" will be the definitive book on how we created this unintended, sometimes disastrous, mess.

Jim Sterba will also participate in a public Deer Management Panel Discussion sponsored by Cornell Plantations and Cornell's Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future to begin a dialogue about coordinated deer management within Tompkins County. The panel will feature a moderated panel discussion with experts, including Mr. Sterba, on Thursday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m. in the Ithaca High School cafeteria; the panel discussion is free and open to the public.

About the Author
Jim Sterba has been a foreign correspondent, war correspondent, and national affairs reporter for more than four decades, first for the New York Times and then for the Wall Street Journal. He lives in New York City with his wife, the author Frances FitzGerald.