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Get an update on our efforts to control invasive plants and pests

1 year 11 weeks ago

In the July 22 Cornell Chronicle article, “Plantations seeks to control invasive plants and pests,”  natural areas director Todd Bittner paints of picture of what it takes to curb the spread of the invasive insect hemlock woolly adelgid, and countless invasive plants that threaten the health of over 3,400 acres of Plantations natural areas.

Read more here.

Plantations interim director's pineapple lily research could boost the New York nursery industry

1 year 11 weeks ago

Chris Wien, Cornell Plantations interim director, is a professor of horticulture who experiments with cut flowers to determine which varieties hold the most promise for the state’s $6.3 billion nursery industry. He believes he’s found a winner in the pineapple lily (Eucomis). Read more about his research in the July 25 Cornell Chronicle article, "Pineapple lily could help N. Y. nursery industry bloom."

Chris Wien will serve as interim director of Cornell Plantations while the university searches for a replacement for Don Rakow, who announced his resignation on May 22. Read more here.

View gardener Josh Whitney's appearance on the Syracuse morning show "Bridge Street."

1 year 13 weeks ago

Staff gardener Josh Whitney appeared on WSYR's weekly morning show "Bridge Street." He provided "The Plant 411" and offered tips on summer plant care. Click here to watch this four minute interview.

"Botanical Mandalas" on display in the Nevin Welcome Center

1 year 14 weeks ago

Daniel McPheeters' "Botanical Mandalas" are on display during July and August. For the past few years Daniel has taken photographs of flowers and foliage and used the computer to turn them into  “Botanical Mandalas” using a technique called “digital collage” to combine images.

Learn more about Daniel's images at

Plantations Road Closed at Judd Falls Road until August 15

1 year 15 weeks ago

Plantations Road at Judd Falls Road will be closed from July 8th - August 15th.  Cornell Plantations' botanical garden and Nevin Welcome Center REMAIN OPEN and can be accessed from Plantations Road at Forest Home Drive.  For information or questions, please call 607-255-2400.

Click on image to enlarge.

Flood watch

1 year 15 weeks ago

Flash flood watch: With the rain we've received and the potential for more showers, thunderstorms and torrential rainfall, all members of the community are reminded that gorges and trails may be dangerous during storms. Remember to stay on trails or within designated areas, swimming is prohibited, and do not walk on closed trails or other restricted areas marked by fences, gates and railings. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move. Please check the Special Conditions page for further updates.

Plantations Welcomes Chris Wien as Interim Director

1 year 16 weeks ago

Horticulture professor Chris Wien will serve as interim director of Cornell Plantations while the university searches for a replacement for Don Rakow, who announced his resignation on May 22. Wien, who started July 1, previously served as acting director of the Plantations from July 2006 to January 2007. Wien received his master’s degree from Cornell in 1967 and his Ph.D in 1971, joined the Department of Vegetable Crops as a postdoctoral fellow in 1971, and returned as assistant professor in 1979, after working abroad as a research scientist studying grain legume physiology in Nigeria. He served as chair of the Department of Fruit and Vegetable Science, then the Department of Horticulture, from 1996-2002. His research focus has been the production of cut flowers and herbaceous perennials. He also leads outreach projects encouraging the use of high tunnels among both growers and in school gardens. And he has continued international work in Africa, working with smallholder horticulturists in Zimbabwe, and leading student trips through the Cornell International Institute of Food, Agriculture and Development’s SMART program.

Rakow, who joined Cornell Plantations more than 20 years ago, will return full time to the Department of Horticulture. Reflecting on his tenure, Rakow said: “Our growth, even through budget limitations and challenging economic climates, has certainly been among my greatest satisfactions. For so much of this, I credit Plantations’ amazing staff and our incredibly generous donors and advisors.”

“Don’s leadership has been a key part of the transformation of Cornell Plantations in the last two decades. I am grateful for his expertise, enthusiasm and partnership,” said Kathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The Plantations has established a new fund in his honor.

Get an update on the Cascadilla Gorge trail repairs

1 year 17 weeks ago

Most of the Cascadilla Gorge trail between downtown Ithaca and Collegetown has been closed since 2009 for extensive repairs, but reopening is expected this fall. For a complete update on this project, read the June 20 Ithaca Journal article, "Cascadilla trail's ends to be reunited," or listen to this June 21 radio interivew with Cornell Plantations Natural Areas director Todd Bittner on 1160AM ESPN ithaca.

Gorge work, stewards increase safety of natural areas

1 year 18 weeks ago

Work on trail improvements in Cascadilla Gorge is near completion. Get an update on this and the summer gorge steward program in the June 13 Cornell Chronicle article, "Gorge work, stewards increase safety of natural areas."

Celebrate Don Rakow’s 20 Years of Leadership

1 year 20 weeks ago

At the suggestion of many of our members and friends, we are establishing a new fund in Don Rakow’s honor at Cornell Plantations. Charitable gifts,memberships, and endowment income provide 80% of Plantations' operating budget. Your gift will help Plantations continue to create beautiful gardens, preserve irreplaceable natural areas, and offer unique programs about the importance of plants in our lives.



To make a gift in honor of Don, please click here or send a check to Cornell Plantations, Attn: Beth Anderson, 1 Plantations Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850. For more information, contact Beth Anderson or call 607-254-4727.

Click here to read more about Don's accomplishments.